Sudan’s Bashir releases jailed Czech journalist
Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir pardoned Czech journalist Petr Jasek on Sunday after a court sentenced him to 20 years imprisonment over espionage charges and inciting hatred against the country.
"In honour of the historical ties between Sudan and the Czech Republic, President al-Bashir released the Czech journalist on Sunday," said Sudan's Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour during a joint press conference with his Czech counterpart Lubomir Zaoralek who arrived in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum over the weekend.
Jasek, 53, was jailed in December 2015 and a Sudanese court sentenced him last month.
Sudanese authorities claimed he had entered the country without any visa through South Sudan and crossed to South Kordofan State.
Czech officials had described the sentence as groundless, saying Jasek was in Sudan to help Christians.
But Sudan’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour announced at a joint press conference with his visiting Czech counterpart Lubomir Zaoralek that President Bashir had ordered the detained journalist’s release.
Photo: President Omar Al-Bashir. UN/Eskinder Debebe