Education International
Education International

Women trade unionists call for justice for Jalila Khamis Koko

published 18 December 2012 updated 18 December 2012

Jalila Khamis Koko is a teacher from the Sudan, who has been charged on five criminal counts and faces the death penalty; she has been detained for more than nine months, with no charges brought against her until now.

At a court hearing on December 18th 2012, Ms Khamis Koko will formally be charged with charges that fall under the category of crimes against the state, carrying the death penalty under Sudan’s 1991 Criminal Code: ‘undermining the constitutional system’ (article 50) and ‘waging war against the state’ (article 51). The other charges are: ‘participation in the execution of a criminal conspiracy’ (article 21), ‘exiting hatred against sects or between them’ (article 64) and ‘publication of false news’ (article 66).

Jalila Khamis Koko is a member of an opposition party banned by the Sudanese Government in 2011. She is also from the Nuba ethnic group of Southern Kordofan. This detention seems to follow the pattern of systematic detention of opposition activists and people of Nuba descent.

Amnesty International considers Jalila Khamis Koko to be a prisoner of conscience, and together with the international civil society organisation, Women Living Under Muslim Laws, are calling for networks, organisations and individuals to write urgently to the Government of Sudan, calling for her immediate and unconditional release; for the charges against her to be dropped; to ensure Jalila Khamis Koko 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.

Education International (EI)’s African Women’s Network, currently meeting at their annual review meeting in Accra, Ghana, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)’s Arab Women’s Network, currently at their annual meeting in Cairo, Egypt, have called for Jalila Khamis Koko’s release. EI further calls for all unionists in all regions of the world to join this urgent action appeal to ensure a groundswell of support for Ms Khamis Koko. Trade unions are opposed to the use of the death penalty, which continues to be applied in more than 30 other countries.

Act now to ensure justice for this teacher!