A Sudanese Christian has fled the country after authorities in Khartoum threatened to kill him for refusing to provide names of converts from Islam [Excerpts]
According to a story by Morning Star News, the Christian, a native of Sudan's Juba Mountains area, left the country last month after officials from the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) forced him to report to their offices nearly every day since raiding his home on Feb. 23.
“His life was at great risk, especially as NISS threatened to kill him if he did not cooperate with them and reveal names of Muslim converts who became Christians in Sudan,” a source told Morning Star News. “He is in hiding in another country.”
The detained Christian, speaking on condition of confidentiality, told Morning Star News that officials, some of them armed, took him to jail on Feb. 23 for interrogation after confiscating his passport and other documents, cell phone, computer, two laptops, iPad and the mobile phones of his brother and sisters.
“They took me to their offices with me in only my sleeping clothes, shorts and a T-shirt...And they took me to their officer just like this, and he said to me, ‘If you need your life, just cooperate with us.’”
After visiting another workplace site the next day, a Sunday, the NISS officials accused him of being a spy for insurgents in the Nuba Mountains and said that he and another Christian taken into custody would therefore be killed in accordance with Sudanese law.
"They left us on Friday and told us to come back on Monday, and they told me I must cooperate with them in giving them the names of Muslims who have changed their religion, and they asked me about the whereabouts of my friend, a guy who was a Muslim and became Christian."
Morning Star News said he added, “I am now threatened badly before them, and they were making me every day to be in their office, saying if I refused to deal with them they will accuse me, with unknown fate.”
Freedom of religion is a key provision of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Sudan is a signatory. But “apostasy,” or leaving Islam, is punishable by death in Sudan under Article 126 of its 1991 Criminal Act, according to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Sudan has not executed anyone for apostasy in almost two decades, but in 2011 and 2012 nearly 170 people were imprisoned and/or charged with the “crime,” according to USCIRF.