Angry response to ‘June 3 massacre’ report in Sudan capital

Street protests erupted in the Sudanese capital on Saturday, sparked by the announcement of the results of an investigation into the violent dispersal of the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on June 3.

Cartoon: Omar Dafallah/Radio Dabanga

Street protests erupted in the Sudanese capital on Saturday, sparked by the announcement of the results of an investigation into the violent dispersal of the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on June 3.

In a press conference in Khartoum on Saturday, Fathelrahman Saeed, head of the committee tasked by the attorney-general to investigate the deadly events on June 3, said that 87 people were killed and 168 injured during the attack on the sit-in area.

Officers of various ranks, including a general and a brigadier, had violated instructions of the Supreme Command. A joint force of Protection Forces, members of the El Salha garnison, and of the anti-riot division of the Rapid Support Forces, Sudan’s main government militia. brutally dispersed the protesters.

Saeed reported that at least eight high-ranking officers are now facing legal proceedings for crimes against humanity. He said a general had broken instructions and ordered anti-riot troops to shoot at the protesters. Masked men also took part in the shooting, from the top of El Bashir Medical City, adjacent to the sit-in.

The investigation committee denied incidents of rape or burning of tents during the attacks.

According to the Sudanese Doctors Central Committee, 127 people were killed on June 3 and more than 700 were injured.

Several bodies were later found in the Nile. A number of women protesters, medics, and street vendors were sexually assaulted or raped.

Sudan Forensic Doctors Union

The Sudan Forensic Doctors Union described the report of the investigation committee on the massacre of June 3 as “poor and defective, and disproportionate to the size of the crime committed as witnessed by all”.

In a statement on Sunday, the doctors said that the report ignored and therewith tries to deny previous reports about the victims on June 3. According to the attorney-general committee, the number of people killed did not exceed 87, while forensics pointed to more than 90 deaths already during the first days after the massacre. 80 percent of these deaths was caused by bullets.

The statement also pointed to the report of the Central Doctors’ Committee of July 18 that said that more than 127 people were killed, and more than 700 were injured. A number of people are still missing.

The Union hopes an independent investigation commission, appointed by a civilian-led government, will reveal “the real facts”. It will provide the commission with “all the information and evidence obtained by medics in field clinics, clinics, hospitals, and by identity cards.

Forces for Freedom and Change

The Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC), and their driving force, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) separately declared their rejection of the results of the investigation commission set-up by the attorney-general.

The FFC called for the formation of an independent commission of inquiry, “not only for dismantling of the sit-in and the subsequent massacre, but also in all crimes committed from April 11 [when President Omar Al Bashir was ousted] until today”.

SPA spokesman Ismail El Taj described the report as “shocking” to the Sudanese and the regional and international community.

In a press conference on Sunday, he accused the attorney-general of undermining the course of justice by presenting such a report.

Sudanese Women’s Union

The Sudanese Women’s Union also rejected the outcomes of the investigation, and called for the prosecution of the killers and those who humiliated women. The Transitional Military Council should take full responsibility for what happened instead of denying that they were the ones who ordered the dismantling of the sit-in.

The report of the investigation committee denied the facts, “which were witnessed by everyone in picture and sound,” the Women’s Union said in a statement on Sunday.

“This report […] even covers up those who confessed committing crimes.” It “confirms the alienation of the Military Council from the Sudanese people. They do not feel any responsibility towards this country and its people”.

The Union urged the formation of “an independent, transparent and just commission under regional control”.

Democratic Lawyers Alliance

According to the Democratic Lawyers Alliance, the report of the investigation committee is “devoid of any legal value”.

The lawyers denounced omissions in the report regarding numbers of the victims of rape, those whose bodies were thrown in the Nile, and the missing so far. “Therefore we insist on the need to form an independent committee under regional or international supervision to investigate the events of the Ramadan 29 [June 3] massacre and bring the real perpetrators to justice,” they said in a statement on Sunday.

National Umma Party

The National Umma Party (NUP) set up its own investigation committee into the violent dismantling of the Khartoum sit-in on June 3.

NUP president El Sadig El Mahdi, announced on Sunday that the committee, headed by Dr Yousef El Amin, will hold a press conference on Tuesday to report the findings of the committee to the public.

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