Sudan: Torture and Death of Teacher Sparks Unrest

South Kordofan / Kassala — According to the Sudanese Doctors' Central Committee, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has tortured to death two men in El Abbasiya, South Kordofan, and Ahmed El Kheir in Khashm El Girba, Kassala.

Fayez Abdallah and Hasan Talga of South Kordofan were reportedly tortured to death whilst being held in detention centres. The statement said that the NISS officers ordered them to be buried without the knowledge of their relatives.

Fayez Abdallah was from South Darfur, a retired soldier working in gold mines in El Abbasiya. According to the testimony of colleagues and lawyers in the area and the Darfur Bar Association, he was listening to Radio Dabanga just before being taken to the security offices on December 29. He died on the second day of his detention.

At the time of writing, there is no further information available about the detention of Hasan Talga.

Teacher killed in custody

The family of Ahmed El Kheir, a teacher from Khashm El Girba in Kassala, said that he was tortured to death inside NISS buildings after they took him from his house in Khashm El Girba against the backdrop of demonstrations on January 31.

The police director and head of the security committee in Kassala State, Mohamed Hassan Yassen, said the teacher felt sick during interrogation at the NISS detention centre. A doctor confirmed his death at the detention centre, after which his body was sent to the morgue and his family notified.

His brother, Saad El Kheir, said that the family received the body with signs of torture and beatings over his entire body: "The hands, the stomach, the back, the kidneys, and the anus showed signs of bruising." His sister, speaking to El Arabiya, confirmed that El Kheir's body showed signs of sexual assault.

Sudan Tribune reported on Saturday that three others detained alongside El Kheir have been kept at the hospital and some of them have suffered serious injuries.

Fierce reactions

Political opposition groups renewed their demands to establish an international commission of inquiry to investigate the facts and "hold accountable the perpetrators of the crimes of the regime."

The National Umma Party also gave a statement on Sunday, saying that the violence of Ahmed El Kheir's death is nothing new for the current regime. It went on to say: "our unarmed people, who are peaceful in the face of war criminals and genocide professionals, have the right to find regional and international solidarity corresponding with their steadfastness and peacefulness."

Videos of El Kheir's funeral posted on social media on Saturday sparked new calls to stand up to Al Bashir and his regime. The Sudanese government has been repressing anti-government demonstrations, which began almost two months ago, with use of live fire and tear gas against demonstrators, who have also been beaten, detained, and tortured. In addition, Sudanese media organisations and journalists have been targeted for reporting the situation on the ground.

Teachers on strike

The Teachers Committee announced a full strike in all schools as of Sunday in protest against the killing of teacher Ahmed El Kheir. Teachers in a number of private schools in Khartoum state held vigils last week.

In a statement, the Teachers' Committee demanded that the perpetrators to be brought to an immediate trial and in the case of non-response, the teachers would continue their strike. The statement also called on the mothers and fathers of pupils and students to stand with the teachers.

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