Sudan: Official Sudan Protest Casualty Figures Released

Doctors and medical students strike in El Gedaref last week.

Khartoum — The Sudanese government has released figures of deaths and injuries during the past week's mass protests, however the numbers quoted by Khartoum fall considerably lower than independent estimates.

Sudan's Information Minister, Bushara Juma, said at a press conference in Khartoum that 19 people were killed during the demonstrations in the country that began on Wednesday last week. Juma asserts that 219 people were wounded, while the number of injured regular forces reached 187.

This official figure is at odds with independent estimates reaching this station. On December 24, Amnesty International quoted "credible reports that 37 protesters have been shot dead by the security forces in five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the country".

Other independent sources within Sudan confirm the Amnesty International figures.

Gunshot wounds

Doctors in Khartoum reported that two people wounded during the protest march organised by the Sudan Professionals Association in Khartoum on Tuesday are still being treated in the intensive care.

They are in serious condition due to gunshot wounds in the neck and head, while the total number of injured during the march is 18, including nine by live bullets, and more than 60 cases of breathing problems because of the excessive use of tear gas.

A doctor who participated in the treatment of the wounded told Radio Dabanga that the security forces started firing from the beginning of the march. She strongly criticised the use of tear gas in hospitals as a disregard for the lives of patients.

She praised the positions of private hospitals in the treatment of victims of demonstrations free of charge.

International condemnation

As reported earlier by Radio Dabanga, The British All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG*) for Sudan and South Sudan has condemned the "disproportionate and deadly response" by the Sudanese government to the public mass protests, and called on the government of Sudan "to respect the freedoms of assembly, expression, and association as laid out in Sudanese and international human rights law, and ensure any investigation into the killing of significant numbers of unarmed protesters is independent and credible."

Last week, the Troika (the USA, Norway and the United Kingdom) and Canada issued a joint statement expressing "concern about the violence occurring during recent protests in Sudan, including credible reports of the use of live fire by the government of Sudan and of multiple deaths during several protests."

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