6 December 2017

Sudan: Appeal Court Upholds Death Sentence for Darfuri Student

Khartoum — On Tuesday the Court of Appeal in Khartoum upheld the death sentence against Khartoum University student Asim Omar who was convicted on 29 August of killing a policeman during student protests in 2016.

Asim Omar who is from Darfur was held in May last year against the backdrop of student protests at his university. "Omar did not know the reasons for his arrest and was not informed of the charges against him. He was promised to be released on bail, which later turned out to be misleading," one of his lawyers told Radio Dabanga at the time.

Later he was told that he was charged with killing a police officer during the protests. He was detained for more than 14 months in detention centres of Sudan's security apparatus and Kober Prison in Khartoum North, before he was brought to trial.

Sudanese students took to the streets in the national capital of Khartoum following the court verdict in August.


Mohammed El Hafiz, the head of the defense described in an interview with Radio Dabanga the decision as defective and considered it contrary to the wise approach characterising the decisions of the higher courts.

He confirmed the innocence of Asim Omar of the charge against him.

He said that one of the judges of the court demanded the cancellation of the conviction and punishment decision against Omar and demanded that the case be returned to the trial court to hear the testimony of 10 witnesses who were dismissed by the court.

He added that another judge supported the decision of the court and was supported by the head of the appeal department without mentioning the reasons; which Mohammed El Hafiz considered contrary to the courts' prevalent norms.

The Sudanese Congress Party has warned that "touching a hair of student Asim Omar will ignite unbearable fire for the government".

The party said in a statement that "Omar will come out free and honoured despite the nose of his tormentors" and considered what he is facing as a political charge.

The head of the defence, Mohammed El Hafiz, said that they are about to appeal to the Supreme Court against the decision of the Appeal Court.

He expressed optimism about the decision of the Supreme Court acquitting Asim Omar on the details of the decision of the Court of Appeal.


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