Leading Sudanese poet on a death sentence By REEM ABBAS in Khartoum | Monday, November 28   2011 at  16:22

Sudan's renowned poet, writer, journalist and human rights activist Abdel Moniem Rahma. SUDANESE ONLINE | AFRICA REVIEW 

A renowned Sudanese poet, journalist and human rights activist is among 19 prisoners awaiting execution in Sudan after he was arrested in the country's Blue Nile State early September.

Allegedly caught in the crossfire of the Blue Nile conflict, Mr Abdel Moniem Rahma was accused of involvement with SPLM-N.

A tribunal held in a court in Sinnar State sentenced to death19 detainees allegedly affiliated with SPLM-N, the banned political party that has been in conflict with the Sudanese Government in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

So far, SPLM-N has denied knowledge of their involvement in the on-going military action in Blue Nile State where the detainees were arrested.

"I found out about the order of execution from the internet, but I still can't believe it," said Rahma's wife Roman.

Roman said she had not spoken to her husband since his arrest in September and only found out recently that he was transferred to the notorious Kober prison in Khartoum.

"I don't leave the house because I'm scared," said Roman.

Human Rights Watch reported that the prisoners had been subjected to abuse and torture.

SPLM-N on the other hand reported that some of them were disabled as a result of torture.

Government advisor

Rahma was reported to have travelled to Blue Nile State at the time the conflict erupted on September 1, to work for the government.

Earlier, he headed the Arabic Section of the Sudan Radio Service network in Nairobi from 2003 and 2005 and in 2008, he co-founded Sudan's well-known opposition newspaper Ajras Al Hurriya and served as its administrative director.

The paper that was associated with South Sudan's party SPLM was closed down by the authorities in July, a day after the latter's independence.

The other prisoners awaiting execution include a 15-year-old boy.

Sudanese-online, one of the most popular news portal in the northern Africa country, has organised a campaign against the execution of Rahma,

So far, hundreds of Sudanese have signed the petition appealing for intervention to save Rahma and the others.