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Sudan security forces arrest opposition leader

Sudanese security forces on Tuesday arrested opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi [BBC profile] and eight other opposition party members. The arrests come after the Popular Congress Party (PCP) called for a popular uprising in protest of price increases on various goods. The party officials called for a "popular revolution" [Reuters] if Khartoum did not reduce price increases. Additionally, the opposition party is pressuring the government to remove its financial minister and dismantle parliament. The arrests coincide with President Omar Hassan al-Bashir [case materials; JURIST news archive] apparently losing control of the oil-producing southern region of Sudan as a result of last week's referendum.

In addition to the PCP, rights groups and international organizations have also heavily criticized [JURIST report] al-Bashir and the Sudanese government. In September, the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website] called for the arrest of al-Bashir [JURIST report] during his visit to Kenya. Al-Bashir faces seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as three charges of genocide [JURIST reports]. Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan urged Kenya to reaffirm its cooperation with the ICC by arresting al-Bashir [JURIST report]. In July, an Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] report [JURIST report] claimed that the National Security Services in Sudan (NISS) were brutally suppressing internal dissent and targeting rights workers. Also in July, the ICC called for al-Bashir's arrest [JURIST report] during his visit to Chad, marking his first visit to an ICC member state since the warrants were issued.

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