Ousted Sudanese President al-Bashir Moved to Prison

Ousted Sudanese President al-Bashir Moved to Prison

Sudan’s former President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who has not been seen since he was deposed last week, has been moved to a prison in the capital Khartoum where he once confined those who challenged his rule of nearly 30 years, according to a former adviser to Mr. al-Bashir.

The throngs of Sudanese protesters who forced the ouster of Mr. al-Bashir last Thursday have demanded that he be arrested and put on trial. Until now, the military generals who have taken power said only that he was being held in a “safe place,” but did not say where.

Mr. al-Bashir is currently under indictment by the International Criminal Court at The Hague for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Those charges relate to the atrocities that his regime oversaw in the 2000s in Darfur, a province in the country’s west. It is unclear whether he will be extradited.

Mr. al-Bashir was taken to Kober prison in Khartoum, according to Osama Nabil Sobhi, the president of Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission, which served as an advisory board to Mr. al-Bashir.

Political dissidents and opposition figures have often ended up at the feared Kober prison, site of some of the country’s most notorious hangings. Reuters news agency reported that he was being held in solitary confinement, citing an unidentified prison official.

In recent months, Kober prison has been one of the prisons used to hold demonstrators who had been arrested during the protests demanding Mr. al-Bashir’s ouster. One protester arrested during the recent demonstrations said in an interview that he had been locked up in a small unit with more than 20 other men, the floor so cramped that there was only room to lie down if they slept on their sides.

The possibility that Mr. al-Bashir could slip away to a comfortable exile had preoccupied many who helped bring about his downfall. Some in Sudan had assumed that Mr. al-Bashir was being held under house arrest in his residence within a larger military compound.

But among the demonstrators, rumors abounded that Mr. al-Bashir was living with relatives or that his ouster was a ruse and he was still calling the shots, only now in secret.

The generals who deposed Mr. al-Bashir were acting in response to massive street demonstrations calling for the end of his regime.

Throngs of demonstrators still remain just outside the gates of military headquarters, although in smaller numbers than last week. They are demanding that the generals now in charge hand over — or at least share — power with a civilian government that has yet to be formed.

The ruling generals have said they will not extradite Mr. al-Bashir to be tried by the international court, and that he will be tried in Sudan instead. But there has already been a quick turnover in the generals assuming control, so it is not clear whether the edicts they announce will stick.

The generals have said they intend to hand power over to a civilian government, but that may take as much as two years.

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