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Sudan president pardons, frees rights activist - family
August 30, 2017 / 4:32 AM / 23 days ago

Sudan president pardons, frees rights activist - family

Sudan's President Omar Ahmed al-Bashir looks on during Sudan's Saudi Air Force show during the final training exercise between the Saudi Air Force and Sudanese Air Forces at Merowe Airport in Merowe, Northern State, Sudan April 9, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has pardoned and released a prominent human rights activists who had been jailed since last year on spying and other charges, his family said.

The release of Mudawi Ibrahim Adam came after a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump’s aid administrator to Sudan and before an October deadline when the administration will decide whether to permanently lift 20-year-old sanctions.

“He is home after a presidential amnesty and he seems in good health,” his wife Sabah told Reuters late on Tuesday.

International rights groups had often called for the release of Ibrahim Adam, who they said had faced the death penalty on false charges since his arrest in December.

USAID chief Mark Green had met with Sudanese authorities this week as part of a fact-finding mission to assess whether Khartoum was meeting conditions to lift sanctions on Sudan.

Just before leaving office, former U.S. President Barack Obama temporarily eased penalties against Sudan, suspending a trade embargo, unfreezing assets and removing sanctions.

In July, the Trump administration postponed for three months a decision on whether to remove the restrictions full-time - allowing it until Oct. 12 to make a decision.

U.S. officials have said limited steps to ease sanctions are meant to recognise progress in Sudan, particularly moves to reduce internal conflict and increase cooperation with Washington in the war against terrorism.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Michael Perry

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