The trial continued earlier this week for Pastors Michael and Peter, who face trumped-up charges in Sudan that could lead to death sentences.
They have committed no crimes. No credible evidence has been offered for their alleged offenses. Rather, they are on trial because as Christians from South Sudan, they visited their Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan and they spoke out against the persecution Christians endure in Sudan.
To begin their formal defense, their attorney called two witnesses. One witness was an information technology expert who testified that the documents from the Pastor’s computer could have been put on the computer by anyone, including Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) during the time it had exclusive control of the computer.
The second witness was ex-army general and 2010 presidential candidate Abdul Aziz Khalid. He testified that the evidence presented by the prosecution was widely available information to the civilian population and not classified military or security materials. He also testified that the content of the evidence could not be used for military or security reasons to threaten the security of the state.
The defense rested after offering these two witnesses.
Pastor Michael and Peter’s attorney did not have access to them in advance of presenting their defense. As we stated in our urgent letter to Sudan’s Minister of Justice, this is in violation of numerous international human rights laws to which Sudan is a signatory. In that emergency letter, we also urged the Minister of Justice to follow the case and intervene to ensure that the baseless charges against these Christians pastors are dropped.
We can confirm that present at the trial were two representatives from the Ministry of Justice and several representatives from various Embassies, including a representative from the U.S. Embassy in Sudan.
The trial will continue with closing arguments on July 23, 2015, and a decision is expected for August 5, 2015.
Your voice matters. Hundreds of thousands signed our petition and our urgent legal letter to Sudan’s Ministry of Justice, and representatives of the Ministry took notice and attended the trial this week.
But Pastors Michael and Peter are not free yet. We must continue praying for them. We must continue our fight for justice and freedom.
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