18 March 2019

Sudan: Activist Sentenced, Demonstrations Continue

Khartoum State/El Gedaref — Demonstrations roll on in Khartoum state as Emergency Courts sentence prominent activist Jaafar El Khidir to one month in jail for his participation in them.

Families of those detained during demonstrations, which have been calling President Omar Al Bashir and his regime to step down from power since mid-December last year, held a demonstration in front of the offices of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) north of Airport Road in Khartoum on Sunday. They demanded the immediate release of their relatives, some of whom have been held for almost three months without legal or judicial grounds, a violation of their constitutional and human rights.

A march was held for unemployed graduates in Khartoum state on Sunday, called for by signatories to the Declaration of Freedom and Change, to demand the immediate step-down of Al Bashir and his regime from rule of the country.

Demonstrations took place in El Soug El Markazi, El Kalakla, El Sahafa, and Burri in Khartoum, in Banat and Abrof in Omdurman, and in Shambat and Shaabiya in Khartoum North. Chants of "freedom, peace, justice" could be heard, along with "the revolution is the choice of people".

The security forces dispersed demonstrators with batons and tear gas. Dozens were detained.

The demonstrations coincided with the visit of a US Congressman to the country.

Emergency courts

On Saturday, the Emergency Court of El Gedaref in eastern Sudan sentenced activist Jaafar El Khidir to a fine of SDG10,000 or a one-month jail in case of non-payment after he participated in last week's demonstrations. Witnesses told Radio Dabanga that he refused to pay the fine.

The Emergency Court in Omdurman acquitted Rabah El Sadig El Mahdi, a prominent member of the National Umma Party on Sunday, who was detained during a demonstration the day before.

Marches to continue

Signatories of the Declaration of Freedom and Change called for a march this Thursday to demand the overthrow of Al Bashir and his regime in El Obeid in North Kordofan, in a statement made on yesterday. International marches are also planned in North America next week.

The demonstrations and mass protests of the Sudan uprising demanding the step-down of President Al Bashir and his regime, have been ongoing for three months.

Dozens of civilians have been killed, hundreds injured, and unknown thousands detained as the Sudanese security forces routinely respond to peaceful protests with tear gas, batons, and live ammunition.

The State of Emergency in Sudan coincided with the dissolution of the federal government and state governments on February 22. The declaration, as well as consequent restrictive Emergency Orders, have been met with widespread national and international concern and condemnation.

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