Sudan Releases Islamist Opposition leader

June 30, 2010 (Khartoum) — The Sudanese government on Wednesday released Hassan al-Turabi, his son said. Hassan al-Turabi was arrested in a government crackdown in May after he criticized April’s elections which brought back Bashir to power.

“The security service told me to come to their office this evening. When I arrived my father was there. They drove us home. No one ever explained why he was arrested and no one said why he was released," his son Siddiq al-Turabi told Reuters.

The leader of Popular Congress Party (PCP) has been in detention for a month and a half. His party’s newspaper was closed by the government, arrested its editor-in-chief, as well as a dozen journalists.

"Turabi has arrived at his home… We do not know why he has been released," al-Turabi’s personal Secretary Awad Babiker said.

Sudan’s state run news agency (SUNA) quoted a security source saying “Bashir had ordered Turabi’s release”.

The former political ally of the Sudanese president has been imprisoned or held under house arrest on several occasions by the government.

The two leaders, al-Bashir and Mr. al-Turabi, waged power struggle in late 1990’s. They fell out in 1999.

In the 1990s, the Islamic Theoretician engineered the decision to welcome Al-Qaeda in the country and allowed the terrorist organization to operate until 1996.

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