A Czech Christian aid worker visiting Sudan has just been sentenced to 20 years in prison for a variety of charges that his lawyers—and the Czech Foreign Ministry—say are baseless. Two of his local Christian colleagues, Hassan Abdel Rahim and Abdelmoneim Abdulmulli, were also arrested and given long sentences for helping him.
According to CBN News, among Petr Jasek’s charges are “entering the country without a visa … spying … taking pictures of military installations … inciting hatred … and publishing fake news.”
He was jailed with a local Christian pastor and another fellow Christian back in 2015, after helping a young boy who was badly burned at a protest.
Government officials accused them of having “rebel sympathies.”
Jasek has been helping persecuted Christians and victims of violence—both Christians and Muslims—in the country for years, at times partnering with the group Voice of the Martyrs.
He worked in the Nubas region, which has been targeted by government forces. This report from CBN News in 2014 illustrates the situation in the region.
In a statement, Voice of the Martyrs said, ”These men are not spies, they were not inciting a revolt. They aren’t pushing a political agenda.”
Czech officials are planning to travel to the country in an effort to secure his release, and the other two men are attempting to appeal their own sentences.