Man held in Sudan released from jail, taken by secret police

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - On Monday, Nancy Williams Dawod's weeks of worrying turned to hope: her husband Rudwan Dawod was about to go free after more than a month in Sudanese jails.

"We hear the news, OK - he's released, he's been acquitted, you're free to go," Nancy recalled. "I was even told by a friend that Rudwan would call me in 20 minutes. I was expecting him to call.

"And of course he never called."

The Dawods are expecting their first child in September. Before becoming a father, Rudwan - a permanent U.S. resident and former Lane Community College student - wanted to return to his native Darfur (now South Sudan) and help organize efforts to rebuild a Catholic church.

While there, he traveled to north Sudan to visit family. After 10 days in the north, he was arrested in July, accused of organizing terrorism.

His wife and LCC both advocated for his release, and on Monday he was poised to leave custody after being cleared of the charges against him.

Before he could leave custody, the country's secret police showed up "and presented him with papers to the police of the court and demanded that Rudwan was turned over to them.
According to their public order law, they are allowed to do that without any charges or accusations.

"I don't know exactly how long they're allowed to hold Rudwan without seeing a lawyer or his family, it's not clear," Nancy told KVAL News. "We don't even know how they're treating him. In the past they've threatened him with assassination, with rape, beatings, they've tortured him - we don't know if he's even safe. And we don't know how long they'll keep him. We don't know."

The couple's daughter is due Sept. 18.

Nancy hopes to get the Sudanese embassy in Washington, D.C., to help win Rudwan's release and bring him home in time to be there.