Petr Jasek, a filmmaker and missionary from the Czech Republic has been imprisoned in Sudan since December of last year. His crime, according to Sudanese authorities, is filming the ongoing Christian persecution in the country.
According to the Prague Daily Monitor, Jasek traveled to Sudan with the help of the U.S.-based organization Voice of Martyrs with the intention to document the persecutions of Christians in the country. However, he was apprehended by authorities and thrown in jail and is scheduled for a hearing this month.
One of the pieces of evidence that will be used against him is his documentary film. One of the scenes in it showed a Sudanese Christian who had burned wounds on his body. As Jasek noted, the man got injured after he was beaten by Muslims because of his religion.
However, when questioned by authorities, the man said that Jasek misinterpreted what he said. The man then noted that he sustained his injuries after being involved in a vehicular accident.
Aside from documenting the persecution, Jasek was also charged with illegally crossing the borders of Sudan and South Sudan. If found guilty, the filmmaker will likely face harsh punishments since he violated one of the provisions of the country's traditional Islamic Sharia law.
Since his imprisonment last year, Czech diplomats have been negotiating with Sudan authorities regarding his release. However, they declined to mention specific details regarding the case to avoid complicating the upcoming trail.
"I can only say we have been dealing with a consular case in Sudan," Michaela Lagronova, the spokesperson for the Czech Foreign Ministry said in a statement according to the Christian Times.
Jasek is only one of the many Christians in the country who have been imprisoned due to charges related to their religious beliefs.
According to Breitbart, in July of last year, two pastors in the country were sentenced to death. Sudanese authorities alleged that the two men committed various offenses. Thankfully, both were released in the same year with the help of international intervention.
Also, in 2014, Mariam Ibrahim was also given the death sentence for renouncing Islam and converting to Christianity. She was also accused of committing adultery because the court did not recognize her marriage to a Christian American.
The cases against her were eventually dropped which then allowed her to travel to the U.S. and escape persecution in Sudan.