(By Onize Ohikere, World Magazine). A Sudanese court on Monday acquitted a pastor who faced the death penalty for national security crime charges after showing compassion for an injured student.
Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) first arrested the Rev. Kuwa Shamal along with two other Christians and a human rights activist in December 2015. The three other defendants, who also face death sentences, are still in jail.
“He was released after the court found that he was not guilty of the charges brought against him,” Muhanad Nur, one of the attorneys defending the Christians, told Morning Star News.
The trial began in August but has faced multiple delays. Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a UK-based nonprofit that works for religious freedom, said the court acquitted Shamal after the trial judge concluded there was no evidence against him. The next hearing will continue Jan. 9, Nur said.
Shamal, who leads missions at the Sudanese Church of Christ, and his colleague the Rev. Hassan Abduraheem attended a conference in November where Abduraheem said he was financially supporting the medical treatment of a student badly burned at a demonstration. The NISS arrested the two pastors the following month along with human rights activist Abdulmonem Abdumawla, who started the fundraising, and Petr Jasek, a Czech aid worker who donated some money.