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Jul-31-2012 13:37printcomments

Oregon Aid Worker Faces Death Penalty in Sudan

Another false charge of 'terrorism' is being used by a government to persecute an innocent demonstrator.

Rudwan Dawod
Rudwan Dawod, who faces charges of terrorism and criminal organization, met his wife Nancy Williams while working as volunteers at Sudan Sunrise in 2009. They later married and the Oregon couple is now expecting their first child, whom they will name Sudan, in September. (Courtesy: Sudan Sunrise)

(SALEM) - Fox News brings to light the story of an Oregon man who is facing the death penalty in Sudan for his political activism. Rudwan Dawod's 'crime' was his goal of rebuilding a Catholic cathedral that was burned to the ground by Sudanese forces. Now, he is held in Khartoum, fighting for his very life, and the death penalty on 'terrorism' charges could come as soon as today.

His wife in Oregon, Nancy Williams Dawod, who is pregnant, has to watch from here and wonder if the man she loves, who is described as an amazing humanitarian, will be quickly put to death in the latest example of the 'Bush Strategy; i.e. using the terrorism label to carry out political murder.

The protest he participated in was organized by a group called Girifna, which translates to, “We’re Fed Up”. They are a non-violent youth protest movement in Sudan seeking to end the government's brutality; which in fact equates to state terror.

Rudwan Dawod works for 'Sudan Sunrise', the non-profit started by late NBA star Manute Bol. His supporters say it is a case of the government trumping up charges against him. Observers in Sudan say it is a classic move to discredit non-violent protesters like Dawod and prevent them speaking out against the government. Of course the larger goal of the Sudanese govt. is to teach a lesson; Dawod, who was visiting relatives on 3 July when he was arrested, is being made an example.

Tom Prichard, executive director of Sudan Sunrise, told Fox News that Mr. Dawod was taken into custody while participating in a peaceful protest against the ongoing violence in the region and the Sudanese government’s austerity policies.

“They have picked him out as a way to discredit the youth movement,” Prichard told FoxNews.com.

“They’re saying this guy comes from the United States, he’s part of the CIA. It’s all part of a very strategic plan to make people afraid of the non-violent demonstrators and they’re hanging it on Rudwan. And they’ve actually picked an amazing humanitarian to try and discredit the movement.”

Dawod is now charged with terrorism and criminal organization, which can carry the death penalty.

His wife in Springfield, Ore., told FoxNews.com her 30-year-old husband’s mantra has always been one of peace.

“He’s run a number of humanitarian projects in South Sudan and helped organize Muslims to rebuild a Catholic church in protest of a recent church burning in Khartoum,” she said Monday. “His message is really always peaceful. My hope is that he will be here before our little girl Sudan is born. We just want him back home safely.”

A judge presiding over Dawod’s case characterized the youth protest group Girifna as a “terrorist organization,” sources close to the matter told Prichard, during court proceedings on Sunday. Dawod’s attorneys are expected to finish presenting their case today, he said.

“He’s someone who dreams of a better future, a kind and gracious man,” Prichard said. “He’s someone who is very focused on the suffering of other people. I’ve seen him just weep at times at the suffering of other people.”

To make a donation to Rudwan’s family, please click here, and select Where Most Needed, and write Rudwan Dawod under Person’s name.

Special thanks to FoxNews.com and reporter, Joshua Rhett Miller

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/07/30/us-aid-worker-could-face-death-penalty-in-sudan/#ixzz22ETaxIxB


Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King has more than twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. Tim is Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. His background includes covering the war in Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007, and reporting from the Iraq war in 2008. Tim is a former U.S. Marine who follows stories of Marines and Marine Veterans; he's covered British Royal Marines and in Iraq, Tim embedded with the same unit he served with in the 1980's.

Tim holds awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing from traditional mainstream news agencies like The Associated Press and Electronic Media Association; he also holds awards from the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, the Oregon Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs; and was presented with a 'Good Neighbor Award' for his reporting, by the The Red Cross.

Tim's years as a Human Rights reporter have taken on many dimensions; he has rallied for a long list of cultures and populations and continues to every day, with a strong and direct concentration on the 2009 Genocide of Tamil Hindus and Christians in Sri Lanka. As a result of his long list of reports exposing war crimes against Tamil people, Tim was invited to be the keynote speaker at the FeTNA (Federation of Tamil Sangams of North America) Conference in Baltimore, in July 2012. This is the largest annual gathering of North American Tamils; Tim addressed more than 3000 people and was presented with a traditional Sri Lanka ‘blessed garland’ and a shawl as per the tradition and custom of Tamil Nadu, India.

Tim at his family ranch in Chino, California.

Tim's notorious list of ancestors includes Pedro de Alvarado, the lieutenant of Hernando Cortez of Spain; King Phillip IV, Eleanor of Aquitaine and William the Conqueror. Perhaps most interestingly, King John; the dark force in the story Robin Hood, and also the last Spanish governor of California, the arch rival of the character in the fictional story, Zorro, are in reality both Tim's multiple-great grandfathers. Others include a Confederate officer in the U.S. Civil War and a decorated 'hero' of the Mexican-American War and the so-called 'Indian Wars'. In fact on the east coast, Tim's lineage with the Slaughter and King families, pre-dates the Mayflower and several members of his family were soldiers in the Revolutionary War. He says his family's past; some of which is very dark; some quite chivalrous, presents a certain responsibility, and that in part drives his desire to see that people in today's world are not exploited or allowed to suffer in silence as victims of Human Rights violations.

In a personal capacity, Tim has written 2,026 articles as of March 2012 for Salem-News.com since the new format designed by Matt Lintz was launched in December, 2005. Serving readers with news from all over the globe, Tim's life is literally encircled by the endless news flow published by Salem-News.com, where more than 100 writers contribute stories from 23+ countries and regions.

Tim specializes in writing about political and military developments worldwide; and maintains that the label 'terrorist' is ill placed in many cases; specifically with the LTTE Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka, where it was used as an excuse to slaughter people by the tens of thousands; and in Gaza, where a trapped population lives at the mercy of Israel's destructive military war crime grinder. At the center of all of this, Tim pays extremely close attention to the safety and welfare of journalists worldwide. You can write to Tim at this address: tim@salem-news.com. Visit Tim's Facebook page (facebook.com/TimKing.Reporter)

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Evelyn July 31, 2012 10:37 pm (Pacific time)

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