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European man thrown into prison for filming video of persecution against Christians in Sudan

(REUTERS / Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)South Sudanese worshippers attend Sunday prayers in Alsalam, a destroyed church, at Hajj Yusuf, on the outskirts of Khartoum, February 10, 2013.

A Czech man named Petr Jasek has been imprisoned in Sudan for filming the persecution of Christians in the country, according to Czech daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD).

So far, diplomacy's efforts to have 52-year-old Petr Jasek freed have been in vain. He was thrown into prison in Sudan in December and may face trial in March, the Prague Monitor reports.

Petr Jasek's video is being used as a major piece of evidence against him. In the video, a man is seen describing how he got his burn wounds. While Jasek said the Christian man was violently attacked by Muslims, the man has denied such an incident. The man claimed the accused had just misinterpreted his words because he got the injuries from a car accident, the report relays.

Jasek's case is difficult because Sudan's legislation is inspired by the traditional Islamic Sharia law. In addition, he has reportedly been accused of crossing the state border illegally.

The diplomats who have tried and failed to broker Jasek's release say they are not sure what sentence will be handed to Jasek.

A spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry said they have been working on the case, but declined to release more details to avoid affecting the upcoming trial in Khartoum.

"I can only say we have been dealing with a consular case in Sudan," ministry's spokeswoman Michaela Lagronova said.

Petr Jasek came to Sudan with the aid of U.S. group Voice of Martyrs to help Christians in the Islamic country.

In December 2015, two missionaries were held without charges in Sudan. Authorities arrested Sudanese Church of Christ (SCOC) head of missions Kwa Shamaal on Dec. 18 and released him three days after. SCOC moderator Hassan Abdelrahim Tawor, however, is still detained, according to the Baptist Press earlier in February.

The two pastors were reportedly arrested for spreading the word that Christians were being persecuted in the country, the report adds.

Sudan currently ranks eighth on the Open Doors' 2016 World Watch List of countries where Christians experience the worst persecution.

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