Sudan: The Nation Mourns Staunch Advocate of Democratic Rule, Hassanain

Thousands of mourners flocked Friday to the Ahmed Sharfi Cemetery in Omdurman to pay farewell to outstanding politician, strong campaigner for democratic rule, the late Ali Mahmood Hassanain, who died of a heart attack, aged 8o.

The late Hassanain was an erudite barrister and politician and was one of the leaders of the historical unionist movement that played a remarkable role in the struggle for the country's independence. He was deputy chairman of the Democratic Unionist Party and leader of the Broad National Front he formed with others in Britain to intensify the struggle against the rule of ousted President Omar Albashir.

Throughout his long political career, the late Hassanain had demonstrated an unswerving opposition of autocracy and a strong defence of democracy and human rights. He was many times incarcerated in jail during the dictatorial rules of generals Abboud, Nimeiri and then Bashir. During Bashir's rule Hassanain was jailed for three years for supporting the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Bashir for war crimes in Darfur. After his release in 2009, Hassainain left the country on self-exile in London for ten years. Upon his return from Britain in April, he immediately headed to join the sit-in strike at the Army General Command amidst the celebration of thousands of protesters therein.

The late Hassanain had obtained a B.A of law from the University of Khartoum and an M.A in law from the U.S North Western University.

Shortly before his departure, Hassanain and other lawyers had filed a lawsuit against the perpetrators of the military coup that brought Bashir to power in 1989. The list of those accused in the coup includes scores of civilians and army officers.

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