11 December 2012

Sudan: Student Protests in Khartoum Leave 60 Injured, Sources

Photo: Al Jazeera
Protesting (file photo).

Khartoum — Students continued their protests in Khartoum for the second consecutive day on Monday, 10 December. The protests started on Sunday after the bodies of four Darfuri students from Gezira University were found in a canal in Wad Madani.

The second day of protests started from Neelain University where crowds of students gathered. Sources told Radio Dabanga that approximately four thousand students protested all over Khartoum.

It was reported that the security and police forces used excessive violence against the peaceful protesters; beating them with batons, spraying them with teargas and using live ammunition and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

According to eye-witnesses, at least 60 students were injured in Monday's protests. A number of injured students were taken to Khartoum Teaching Hospital for treatment, while others were taken to the Teaching Hospital in Omdurman. Among the injured students are Abdel Aziz Abdel Rahman Adam and Omda Mohamed Suleiman from the faculty of commerce of Neelain University and Arafa Adam from the faculty of law.

The witnesses added that students gathered again in Jackson square, downtown Khartoum, chanting slogans like "killing a student is killing a nation". They reported that at least 10 students were arrested during the rallies.

The spokesman of the Darfur Student Organization stated it holds the governor of Gezira state, the University director, and the student administration of Gezira University responsible for the killing of the four students. He stressed that the latter should be brought to justice.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, the spokesman stressed that "if the government does not bring the perpetrators to justice, the demonstrations will continue until the fall of the regime, so that justice will prevail for all Sudanese".

'Attempted disturbance'

Khartoum's police force announced in a press statement issued late Sunday night that 47 people were arrested for 'attempted disturbance'. It was added that 'the students were blocking traffic and creating chaos and riots, in addition to damaging of public and private property, including a bus and a number of public transport vehicles'.

The statement said that the police is 'in control' of the situation 'without causing injuries among the protesters'.

However, the Darfur Student Organization rejected the police's statement and stressed that the National Congress Party (NCP) 'militia' and the police used excessive violence against the students. The spokesman of the organization added that a number of students were arrested and several injured after the first day of protests.

Injured student, Omda Mohamed Suleiman, told Radio Dabanga that government forces used excessive violence against the protesters on Sunday. He explained that security forces supported by Rabata, students supporting the NCP, attacked the demonstrators with teargas, batons and sticks, leaving several students, including him, injured. Suleiman added they had seen security forces arresting a number of students.

The National Consensus Forces (NCF), which includes the main Sudanese opposition parties, strongly condemned the killing of the four Darfuri students. In a statement NCF said it supports 'the demands from the Darfur region and the Darfuri students to punish the killers'.

The statement pointed out that the regime kills people in the regions 'without conscience' and compared it with what happened in the South.

'Unite and face the real enemy'

For his part, Abdel Wahid Mohamed Ahmed Al Nour, head of the Sudan's Liberation Movement - AW, condemned the killings and appealed through Radio Dabanga to all Sudanese people and specifically Darfuris to 'unite and face the real enemy; the National Congress Party'. He added that the entire system requires change and that the NCP should be 'removed' from power.

The National Commission for Human Rights expressed its concern about the violations which occurred during the student demonstrations in Khartoum and the subsequent student arrests on the International Day for Human Rights, Monday.

The Commission stressed in a statement issued on Monday that during the recent events a number of rights, which are included in the Sudanese constitution, were violated such as the right to life, the right to education and the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression.

The statement emphasized the right to peaceful protest and freedom of expression and appealed to the students to commit to peaceful demonstrations. In return, it asked various authorities to ensure those rights are not violated and not to use violence against demonstrators.

Lastly, the statement said that a committee was established to investigate the incidents and report its findings. The Commission praised the decision of the Minister of Justice to establish an investigative committee.

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