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Sudan releases opposition leader al-Turabi

Sudanese opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi [BBC profile] was released from jail Tuesday, nearly four months after his January arrest. Al-Turabi was jailed [JURIST report] for calling on the Sudanese people to start a popular uprising, similar to Tunisia [JURIST news archive]. Al-Turabi, the Islamist leader of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), said that he was not interrogated or made aware of his charges [Sudan Tribune report] while in prison. Authorities have not stated the reason [AP report] for al-Turabi's release. Al-Turabi explained that his detention demonstrates the ruling National Congress Party's (NCP) violation of Sudanese laws. Sudanese law allows for a person to be arrested without charge for 45 days before either being charged or released.

The January arrests of al-Turabi and eight other opposition party members came after the PCP called for a popular uprising in protest of price increases on various goods. The party officials called for a popular revolution [Reuters report] if Khartoum did not reduce prices. Additionally, the opposition party was pressuring the government to remove its financial minister and dismantle parliament. The arrests coincided 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 a referendum [JURIST report] passed the week before.

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