Ramirez welcomes the release of friend and fellow humanitarian to the Sudanese, Mr. Petr Jasek

For Immediate Release
Eden Gordon
1 (202) 714-6014

(Washington, D.C.) Today, February 26, 2017, the Government of Sudan released Mr. Petr Jasek, a personal friend of Hardwired’s founder, Tina Ramirez.  Mr. Jasek, a Czech citizen, had been sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of espionage on January 29, 2017.  Mr. Jasek was visiting Sudan in December 2015 to provide humanitarian aid to needy Sudanese.  He was taken into custody as he was leaving the country and later charged with various unsubstantiated crimes.   
Ramirez stated, “I welcome the release of Mr. Jasek who, like most humanitarian workers, has dedicated his life to tirelessly easing the suffering of people around the world.  I’m honored to stand alongside individuals like him who are known for their courage and dedication to protecting vulnerable communities.”
Mr. Jasek’s release comes after Hardwired’s 15-month long engagement with the Sudanese Government for his release.  Hardwired worked with Congressman Trent Franks and other organizations to appeal for the release of Mr. Jasek and other Sudanese prisoners held with him. 
Former Congressman Mark Siljander has been in Sudan for the past week to make a personal appeal for Mr. Jasek on Hardwired’s behalf, which led to his release. 
Hardwired has been working in Sudan since 2012 to train leaders in defending human rights and the freedom of religion for all.  Hardwired-trained leaders were active in the constitutional reforms taking place after the secession of South Sudan.  Hardwired staff and trainees were also at the forefront of local efforts to secure the release of Meriam Ibrahim, a Sudanese Christian who was sentenced to death for apostasy in 2014.  The pregnant mother and her young son were imprisoned for several weeks before the courts dismissed the charges and she was freed.
Ramirez stated, “Just as in Meriam's case, it was Muslim lawyers standing in Petr's defence.  These courageous leaders are constantly risking their lives for Christians and other vulnerable groups.  It is an important reminder that religious conflict is not inevitable: peace and stability are possible when people come together to defend human dignity for all.”
President Obama removed long-standing sanctions against Sudan in January, one week before President Trump took office.  However, a clause in the President’s order states that sanctions will be restored if certain conditions are not met within six months of the removal. 
Ramirez continued, “I sincerely hope that Mr. Jasek’s release is the beginning of a major shift in Sudanese policy toward Christians and other minority groups there.  For President Trump to justify the continued removal of sanctions, the Government of Sudan will need to take more serious steps to address the systemic harassment and violence against religious and ethnic minorities occurring throughout the country.”
Ramirez concluded, “We will continue to help the people of Sudan strengthen their constitution and respect for the rights of others in the coming months.”

Hardwired trains influential indigenous leaders in countries experiencing religious conflict to advance human dignity and freedom of conscience for everyone.  Hardwired defends the legal right to religious freedom for all people. We do not promote any religious beliefs or political views.
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