Help your brothers in Sudan and Ethiopia access justice

Join us in seeking justice for two pastors in Sudan and three evangelical Christians in Ethiopia who have been targeted by authorities for their faith.

LATEST…PASTORS’ TRIAL ADJOURNED AGAIN: Pastor Yat Michael and Pastor Peter Yein appeared in court in Sudan again yesterday (25 June) when the prosecution case ended. The next hearing is due to be on Thursday 2 July when  the judge will allow the two pastors to speak and he can question them. Afterwards he will decide whether to drop the case against them (if he believes there is no basis to the charges), or whether to allow the case to continue.

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Help your brothers in Sudan and Ethiopia access justice

Five of our brothers in Sudan and Ethiopia urgently need your help in their fight for justice.

Pastors Michael Yat and Peter Yen Reith were arrested in Sudan six months ago. They have been falsely charged with crimes against the state that could warrant flogging, long prison sentences and possible death sentences. Their trial continues this week.Mary Simon, the wife of Pastor Yat Michael (pictured above left), has spoken about the strain she is under as her husband remains in prison and his trial continues despite no new evidence being given against him and his fellow-pastor, Peter Yein Reith. The two men could face the death penalty if convicted.

Mary and Pastor Michael have a son (3) and a daughter (2) who are staying with their grandparents. “My children are doing well,” said Mary. “They are young but they know that their father is being held by police. They miss and keep asking for him.” She also reported that Pastor Peter’s wife is “strong and giving thanks to God even though the situation is difficult”.

She added, “Please ask the brethren to pray with me for my husband to be released and we can be united as a family. My heartfelt desire is to be together with my husband and children again. Pray also for the children as I am also away from them.”

And in Ethiopia, Tibebu Mekuria, Dawit Jemberu and Belete Tilahun have been in prison for over a year, falsely accused of arson. They each face up to nine years in prison. Their final chance to appeal will take place on 8 July.

Please speak up for them today: write to the Sudanese and Ethiopian Embassies in London, using the sample letters and contact details below.

Simply copy and paste the text into a new email, compose a subject line, fill in your name and country at the end of the letter, and email it to the address provided. We respectfully ask that you remain polite throughout, do not write anything disrespectful about other religions, and please do not mention Open Doors.

A note on security

As a trusted partner in our advocacy work we wanted to let you know that, due to significant security concerns, we will not be publicising these actions on our website. We ask that you also do not publicise these actions in connection with Open Doors. Thank you for your understanding and discretion.

Instead, we would appreciate it if you could notify us by email if you do write to the Sudanese or Ethiopian authorities, as we would love to encourage our contacts with news of the support that you have given to our five brothers. Please send your emails to: advocacy@opendoorsuk.org

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SUDAN LETTEREmail address: (address to follow)His Excellency Mr Mohammed Abdalla Ali Eltom
Ambassador of the Republic of Sudan
Embassy of the Republic of the Sudan
3 Cleveland Row
St James’s
London
SW1A 1DDYour Excellency,

The Republic of Sudan is a country with a long and rich history and culture. I appreciate the fact that Sudan is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and that the 2005 Interim National Constitution of Sudan provides for freedom of religion or belief throughout the entire country.

In this context, I am writing to you to request a fair trial and justice for Reverend Michael Yat and Reverend Peter Yen Reith of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church, both South Sudanese citizens arrested in Khartoum.

Rev Michael Yat was taken into custody on 21 December 2014, after preaching at the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC) Khartoum Bahri congregation. Rev Peter Yen Reith (also known as David Yein Reith) was arrested on 11 January 2015, reportedly after he inquired about the whereabouts of Rev Michael.

It was only on 4 May, more than four months after their arrests, that the pastors were charged with eight offences including disclosure and receipt of official information or documents, arousing feelings of discontent among regular forces, breach of public peace, and offences related to insulting religious beliefs. They will also face charges of undermining the constitutional system, and waging war against the state, which carry the possibility of the death penalty or life imprisonment.

It is my understanding that there is no evidence against the two pastors for any of the charges. Well-informed sources have it that the case against both men is motivated by the religious convctions of the accused.

Your Excellency, I am asking you to do everything in your power to ensure that Reverend Michael Yat and Reverend Peter Yen Reith are given a fair trial.

I appeal to your government to treat these two Christian workers with the justice and mercy that is in keeping with the values of the Sudanese people.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

Your first name, last name
Your country

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ETHIOPIA LETTEREmail address: info@ethioembassy.org.ukHis Excellency Mr Berhanu Kebede
Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
17 Princes Gate
Knightsbridge
London
SW7 1PZYour Excellency,

Ethiopia is a rich land with endless potential. It is a signatory to many international human rights treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The economy is growing and the country plays an active role in international peacekeeping operations. This adds to the standing of Ethiopia in the region.

Today I am writing to you to request a fair trial and justice for Tibebu Mekuria, Dawit Jemberu, Belete Tilahun, from the Debiremarkos area of Ethiopia.

I was sorry to learn that an Ethiopian Orthodox Church building in the rural community of Gulema Iyesus was burned to ashes on 16 May 2014.

About one month later, officials arrested Tibebu Mekuria and Dawit Jemberu, accusing them of starting the fire. They also arrested Belete Tilahun and accused him of funding the attack.

Despite providing witnesses who testified that the men were nowhere near the building at the time of the fire, and the inconsistent testimony of the single prosecution witness, the judge found all three men guilty on 28 October. This verdict has been upheld in several appeals. Mekuria, Jemberu and Tilahun have launched their final appeal to the Federal Supreme Court in Addis Ababa. The case is due to be heard on 8 July.

I have reason to believe that Mekuria, Jemberu and Tilahun have not enjoyed a fair and impartial trial and I ask you to do everything in your power to make sure that these three men’s human rights are upheld and that they receive justice.

I thank you for your time and attention to this case and I count on the good will of all those involved to ensure that justice may be done and that the real culprits can be found and tried.

Yours sincerely,

Your first name, last name,
Your Country

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PLEASE PRAY:

  • For Pastors Michael and Peter and their families; that God will be their strength during this uncertain time
  • For God’s peace upon Tibebu, Dawit and Belete as they approach the date of their final appeal
  • For true justice to rule the hearts of the Sudanese and Ethiopian authorities involved in these cases.

Thank you for your compassion, faithfulness and God-given passion for justice.

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Every blessing,

Lisa

Zoe & Anastasia
Advocacy Team

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We welcome your feedback and comments, but please note that we will be unable to respond personally to every reply to this email. Don’t lose touch! If you change your email address, simply send a message to this email address, quoting your old and new email addresses. To ensure that you continue to receive our emails please add advocacy@opendoorsuk.org to your contact or safe senders list

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