Jašek is reported to have arrived in Prague after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir issued a pardon. He was to have served more than 20 years in jail – simply for helping a student from Darfur who’d been injured at a rally. As it was, he spent 445 days behind bars.
But the two Sudanese men convicted with him – Pastor Hassan Abduraheem, and Abdulmonem Abdumawla – remain in prison.
Jašek, Pastor Abduraheem and Abdumawla were accused of funding rebel movements in areas such as South Kordofan and Darfur. Jašek was sentenced to life imprisonment on 29 January after being found guilty of various charges, including spying and inciting hatred. He was also fined 100,000 Sudanese pounds (more than $20,250) for undertaking aid work without a permit.
Pastor Abduraheem and Abdumawla were each sentenced to 12 years: they were convicted of various charges but their main ‘crime’ was ‘aiding and abetting’ Jašek. Their lawyers have lodged appeals against these sentences.
Jašek travelled to Khartoum in December 2015 to give the injured student from Darfur $5,000 towards his medical costs. Security agents searching his bags at Khartoum Airport found the receipt for his donation and detained him on the spot, accusing him of supporting rebels.
Petr Jašek has a 20-year background in the medical field, including ten years as a hospital administrator. He has worked to provide care to Christians in Sudan and Nigeria, including medical care for Christians attacked by Boko Haram.
Christians in Sudan have been under intense pressure since South Sudan became independent in 2011 and President Bashir vowed to bring Sudan under a stricter form of Islamic rule.
Sources: Release International and The Voice of the Martyrs USA.