Sudan Uprising - Security Services Block Opposition Gathering As Protests Continue

Omar Hassan A. Al-Bashir, President of Sudan.

Khartoum State / Belgium / Spain / United Kingdom — A symposium organised by opposition to Sudan's President and the regime was prevented by members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), while demonstrators continue to be tried by Emergency Courts.

The symposium was organised by signatories to the Declaration of Freedom and Change, a coalition of opposition forces calling for the unconditional withdrawal of President Omar Al Bashir and his regime from power and the formation of a national transitional government, to take place on Saturday evening.

Planned as a memorial for people who have been killed during ongoing demonstrations throughout Sudan since December 19, and in solidarity with those who have been wounded and detained, the symposium was due to take place on Saturday at the National Umma Party (NUP) headquarters.

However, people were prevented from entering the headquarters as the NISS and riot police had surrounded the venue located in Sudan's second city of Omdurman, north-west of Khartoum.

A statement issued by the NUP General Secretariat in the aftermath of this event condemned the actions of the NISS, arguing that preventing citizens from peacefully expressing their positions is contrary to the Constitution and international covenants, thus nullifying any actions under it.

According to the statement, security members claimed that the State of Emergency allows them to prevent unauthorised gatherings.

The symposium has been postponed to Wednesday, March 6.

Emergency Courts

In the meantime, the Democratic Lawyers Alliance reported that three Emergency Courts in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North have continued to try dozens of protesters.

Sudan's Emergency Courts have imposed various sentences against some, who have been either fined or imprisoned for breaching the State of Emergency law, following the establishment of Emergency Courts by President Al Bashir.

An Emergency Court in Khartoum-North sentenced seven demonstrators to four months imprisonment on Sunday and ordered the release of five others acquitted for lack of evidence.

The Khartoum Criminal Court also acquitted a number of demonstrators on Saturday, while others in the court of Kalakala district were fined 1,000 Pounds.

The Sudan Doctors Syndicate claimed that one of its members has been sentenced to three years in jail.

The security authorities reportedly arrested 870 people during demonstrations last Thursday who were brought directly to the Emergency Courts.

Khartoum

Yesterday, Sudanese people demonstrated in some areas of Khartoum in response to the call of the signatories to the Declaration of Freedom and Change in the march of the Independence of the Judiciary announced on Sunday.

The areas of Jabra, Kalakla and El Shajara in Khartoum, Wad Nubawi and Hai El Omda in Omdurman and Shambat in Khartoum North witnessed demonstrations calling for the immediate step-down of Al Bashir and his regime from power amidst chants of "Freedom, peace, justice" and "The revolution is the choice of the people".

A 'White March' took place yesterday as part of the demonstration organised by the Sudanese Professionals Association to honour Sudanese women and stand against any violence, oppression, and violations they experience. The picture to the right shows students from Ahfad University for Women dressed in white traditional 'Toubs' during yesterday's sit-in at the university.

International

On Saturday, crowds of Sudanese people from various European countries demonstrated in front of the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels in support of the Sudanese uprising, now in its third month.

The protesters handed over a memorandum to the European Union, which includes a package of demands, foremost of which is to stop EU support for the Khartoum regime, prevent the regime from using the State of Emergency against the demonstrators, and to review the agreement and cooperation of the EU with the Sudanese government on illegal migration.

Demonstrations were also held in Spain and the UK. In Bristol, two members of the British parliament joined a rally held by Sudanese diaspora. One activist heralded Sudanese women for their bravery and determination, while wishing victory and freedom for the Sudanese nation in whole.

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