Rev. Kwa Shamaal has been in prison for weeks on false charges that he ‘tarnished the image of Sudan’- a charge which carries the death penalty. The reality is he was arrested for being a Christian and doing missionary work in this Muslim majority nation, and he has been harassed by the government before. In miraculous turn of events, Rev. Shamaal was miraculously released from prison and all charges were dropped against him:
A court in Khartoum, Sudan today released a pastor from prison after acquitting him of charges punishable by the death penalty, sources said.
The Rev. Kwa (also transliterated Kuwa) Shamaal, head of Missions of the Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC), was acquitted of charges ranging from spying to inciting hatred against the government. He had been arrested without charges from his home on Dec. 18, 2015.
“Yes, he was released today after the court found that he was not guilty of the charges brought against him,” said attorney Muhanad Nur, part of the team of lawyers defending Shamaal and three other Christians.
Relieved SCOC church leaders expressed their joy.
“Thank God for his release,” said one SCOC leader. “We were sure he was innocent.”
The court also charged Kwa’s colleague, the Rev. Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor, and two other Christians, Czech aid worker Petr Jasek and Abdulmonem Abdumawla of Darfu, with crimes against the state that carry death penalty.
The charges include espionage, waging war against the state and gathering false news information, as well as inciting hatred between classes. Abdelrahim Tawor was also arrested from his home on Dec. 18, 2015.
After the two pastors’ arrest a year ago, Shamaal was released on Dec. 21, 2015 but was required to report daily to the offices of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), a requirement that was removed on Jan. 16, 2016. He was re-arrested on May 25.
Shamaal and Abdelrahim Tawor were charged with trying to tarnish the image of Sudan’s government by collecting information on persecution of Christians and genocide in the Nuba Mountains. The charges included collecting information for “other parties hostile to Sudan.” They were accused of conducting intelligence activities and providing material support for Nuba rebels in South Kordofan under two charges that carry the death penalty – waging war against the state (Article 51 of the Sudanese Criminal Code) and spying (Article 53). (source)