The creation of a new nation in South Sudan earlier this year was hailed around the world as a major step forward for human rights. But it has left behind continuing harassment and oppression in Sudan.
One such case is that of Jalila Khamis Koko, a teacher who has been charged on five criminal counts – all vaguely associated with attacks on the state - and faces the death penalty. She has been detained for more than nine months, and is considered a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Jalila is backed by Education International, the global teachers’ union, and the ITUC Arab Women’s Network.
Her crime appears to be belonging to an opposition party banned by the Sudanese government in 2011, and being of Nuba descent.
Campaigners are calling for Ms Khamis Koko’s immediate and unconditional release; for the charges against her to be dropped; to ensure she is not ill-treated or tortured; for her to have access to her lawyer and to her family; and for the harassment and intimidation of SPLM-N activists and of Nuba people to stop.