World Bulletin/News Desk
Sudanese security forces raided the office of an NGO in downtown Khartoum on Sunday, according to the NGO's chairman.
"Forces with the National Intelligence and Security Service raided the office of NGO Sudanese Human Rights Monitoring and began searching the place," Nabil Adeeb, a prominent lawyer and head of the NGO, told The Anadolu Agency.
"Security troops asked everyone in the building to leave, except for the NGO's employees," said Adeeb, who was out of the office when the raid started.
"Security troops are still inside the building and we're unable to reach the employees inside to find out the reason for the raid," Adeeb added.
The Sudanese opposition has been decrying a sustained government crackdown on its leaders and activists, which heightened after violent protests broke out last year against austerity measures announced by the government then.
The former head of the Observatory was arrested this month after signing a largely symbolic unity deal with opposition parties and rebels.
Sudanese authorities did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment.
A source from the group said the security forces confiscated computers and documents and detained a journalist who was not affiliated with the group but was attending a workshop in the building.
"The observatory has a licence from the state and operates in accordance with the law," group head Nabil Adeb said by telephone after the raid.
He said the observatory was the only independent voluntary organisation monitoring violations of human rights in Sudan.
Sudan's ruling party last month chose President Omar al-Bashir as its candidate for the vote, making it almost certain that he will extend his 25-year rule.
Bashir has appeared emboldened after the ICC shelved its probe into war crimes in Darfur for lack of support at the U.N. Security Council. The charges against Bashir and others remain, although the prosecutor has said she will "hibernate investigative activities", for the time being.
Despite a widespread boycott by major opposition parties and an intensifying insurgency in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, the government has dismissed calls to postpone the polls.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Aralık 2014, 17:04