12 September 2017

Sudan: Public Nuisance - Four Students Charged, Police Hunt Young People

Omdurman / Jebel Alia — The court in Omdurman sentenced four students for public nuisance on Monday, as the police and security service search and detain young people gathering in the streets in the evenings.

Students Mahmoud Jadallah, studying at El Nilein University in Khartoum and Siddig Eisa, student of the El Imam El Hadi University in Omdurman, and two other students were detained on Saturday by agents of the Sudanese security service.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga student Abdelbasit Mohamed said that in total 22 people were detained in the Libya market in Omdurman on Saturday, and handed over to the police. The detained students belong to the United Popular Front, the student wing of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM) of rebel leader Abdelwahid El Nur.

Mahmoud Jadallah, Siddig Eisa and the two remaining students were brought before El Shabi Court in Omdurman on Monday and convicted under articles 77 and 69 of the Criminal Act, public nuisance and violations of general safety in Sudan, Abdelbasit Mohamed said. They each have to pay a fine of SDG1,000 ($149) and spend one month in prison - two months in case of non-payment.

The court dismissed charges against student Younis Abaker Hamid and five other persons. 14 people are kept in custody, awaiting trial.

Gatherings

The security service nor police have communicated reasons for the detention. However, the public order police in El Salam district in Jebel Alia, south of Khartoum, has launched a campaign against gatherings of adolescents in the evening, starting Wednesday 6 September.

A local source told Radio Dabanga that a number of members of the public order police force, which he estimated at eight members and their commander, drive a truck in the streets of blocks 1 to 9 from nine o'clock in the evening onward, to detain gathering young people.

"Even young people returning from a permitted journey were arrested and held in detention by the police."

"This has led to fear among young people to go out on the streets in the evening, and people avoid going out for any purpose." - Local source in Jebel Alia

Approximately 111 detainees have been brought to trial in the court of Jebel Alia as of last Sunday. Most of them were sentenced to paying a fine of SDG1,000 and in the event of non-payment, one month imprisonment - a verdict similar to those of the four students in Omdurman on Monday.

The source said: "The campaign seems to target only male youth, because no girls have been arrested."

Release

Yesterday the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) called on civil society organisations and activists in Sudan to exert efforts for the immediate release of the detained Darfuri students, as well as the former chair of the Darfur Students Association of the Holy Koran University in Omdurman: Nasreldin Mukhtar. Mukhtar was held by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) at the gate of the university on 22 August just after he had sat for an exam. The whereabouts of Mukhtar are still unknown to his family and lawyers.

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