Prominent Sudanese Islamist opposition leader Hassan Al-Turabi dies at 84

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Prominent Sudanese political figure and chairman of the Popular Congress Party Hassan Al-Turabi passed away on Saturday at the age of 84 after being hospitalised in a critical condition earlier in the day.

Al-Turabi, one of the driving forces that led to the introduction of Sharia law in Sudan in 1983, was formerly one of President Omar Al-Bashir’s closest advisers, and chairman of Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party. He was elected speaker of parliament in 1996.

However, a rift took place between the two after Al-Turabi’s introduction of a bill in 1999 to limit the president’s powers. In 2001, Al-Turabi founded the National Congress Party in 2001.

He was the only Sudanese politician to support a warrant issued for Bashir’s arrest by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes over the regime’s conduct of the conflict in Darfur, AFP reported.

The Islamist opposition leader was detained several times over a career spanning four decades, including in January 2009 two days after he urged Bashir to surrender to the ICC.

Al-Turabi held a master’s degree in law from the University of London and a doctorate from the Sorbonne in Paris.

source: Ahram Online