Sudan coup: Detained minister's wife Amani Malik Ibrahim worried over his health

3 weeks ago 350

Amani Malik Ibrahim has seen her husband detained many times during his fight for democracy in Sudan, but she never thought once he became a government minister he would be subjected to the same thing.

Yet armed soldiers knocked on the door in the early hours of October 25, before putting a gun to Ibrahim al-Sheikh's head and one to his wife's chest.

As al-Sheikh was being detained, his son Mohammed managed to take a few pictures, quickly sending them to his sister in Egypt.

A few hours later the internet was cut off in Sudan.

This was hours before top general Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan dissolved the transitional government and detained other government officials including al-Sheikh, and the country's prime minister Abdalla Hamdok.

More than 100 government officials, political leaders, activists and protesters have been detained since October 25.

The coup came more than two years after a popular uprising forced the military's removal of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and his Islamist government in April 2019.

Al-Sheikh, was the minister of industry during the country's fragile planned transition to democratic rule.

He is also the head of the Sudanese Congress Party.

Ibrahim, his wife, is a lawyer and says the whole family has a history of detentions in the fight for democracy.

She says al-Sheikh has been arrested at least 15 times throughout his lifetime. His longest stint in detention was 100 days.

While they are used to the stress of detention, this time al-Sheikh's health is weak.

"At the end of the day, we are human. It shook us," Ibrahim said from their family home in Bahri.

Ibrahim says her husband has diabetes and high blood pressure, and was already ill before he was taken away.

After 12 days without news, al-Sheikh along with many others detained was allowed to call their family but his voice worried Ibrahim.

Ibrahim is working along with an association of lawyers on her husband's case along with others detained.

Twenty-five of those detained including al-Sheikh face charges of inciting troops to rebel against their leaders, according to El Tahir Maki Idris, one of the lawyers working with those detained and a family member of al-Sheikh.

They could face life imprisonment if convicted.

But little information is given to the lawyers who have been working furiously on the case but hear little back from the prosecutor's office.

In the days since October 25, there have been massive protests in the streets of Khartoum and elsewhere in the country.

Sudanese have taken to the streets in masses against the coup.

The protest movement insists on a full civilian government to rule Sudan during the transition.

Since the takeover, at least 14 anti-coup protesters have been killed due to excessive force used by the country's security forces, according to Sudanese doctors and the United Nations.

Military leaders have maintained they were compelled to take over because of alleged quarrels among political parties that they claimed could lead to civil war.

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