18 October 2018

Sudan: Protest to Stop Torture, Release Detainees in Sudan Capital

Khartoum — On Wednesday, a women's campaign against injustice in coordination with the Sudanese Solidarity Committee and the Sudanese Congress Party carried out a protest in front of the Human Rights Commission in Khartoum demanding the end of the torture of student Asim Omar and activist Hisham Ali.

The protesters carried pictures of Asim Omar and Hisham Ali, and banners condemning injustice and the continued detention of both as arbitrary arrests violating human rights. The Secretary-General of the Sudanese Congress Party, Khalid Omar, told Radio Dabanga that the protesters submitted a memorandum to the Commission on the situation of both detainees as well as other detainees, demanding the immediate their release, and a stop to torture in prisons and detention centres.

Amnesty International

Omar has been accused of killing an anti-riot policeman during student protests in April 2016 and was convicted in August 2017. The ruling prompted hundreds of students and SCP members to demonstrate near the court against his death sentence.

Last August the Supreme Court annulled the death penalty on Omar, and ordered the papers to be returned to the trial court to hear more witnesses.

Asim Omar has been admitted to hospital, according to Amnesty International. "Asim Omar was repeatedly beaten with blunt instruments and whipped across his chest until he fainted. He was unable to appear in court because of his injuries, prompting the court to order his hospitalisation," Amnesty quoted Omar's lawyers, in a written statement yesterday. The torture happened on 3 October - just days before he was due in court for the first hearing of his case, which is now under re-trial.

Lawyers criticise the repeated postponement of the court sessions

"This young man has already suffered enormously at the hands of the politically compromised justice system in Sudan. He has been in detention for more than two years, held in at least three different detention centres, where he was severely beaten and subjected to other torture during interrogations," said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International's Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Omar's lawyers told Radio Dabanga that they criticise the Supreme Court for not issuing a decision to acquit Asim. Lawyer Mohamed El Hafiz said that the repeated postponement of sessions is intended to prolong the trial, "which is a serious abuse of the rule of law".

Students

Last week students at the University of Khartoum showed their solidarity with the imprisoned Asim Omar after Amnesty International reported that the 24-year-old student was beaten by prison guards.

Wifag Qurashi, one of the leaders of the Independent Student Congress Party at the Khartoum University, said that Asim Omar was beaten and kicked with sticks on various parts of his body, including the head and genitals, in Kober Prison in Khartoum.

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