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‘Brutal beating’ of imprisoned student must be investigated: Amnesty

October 12 - 2018 KHARTOUM
A prison cell in Sudan (
A prison cell in Sudan (

Students at the University of Khartoum have showed their solidarity with the imprisoned Asim Omar. Amnesty International reported yesterday that the 24-year-old student was beaten by prison guards.

Wifag Gurashi, one of the leaders of the Independent Student Congress Party at the Khartoum University, said that Asim Omar was kicked and beaten with batons on various parts of his body, including the head and sensitive areas, in Kober Prison in Khartoum North.

“[This] in addition to being threatened with rape and humiliated.”

She told Radio Dabanga that what has happened to Asim Omar is “revenge by the police, because of Asim’s speech before the judge about the violations in Kober Prison”.

Omar has been accused of killing an anti-riot policeman during student protests in April 2016 and was convicted in August 2017. The ruling prompted hundreds of students and SCP members to demonstrate near the court against his death sentence.

In December the Supreme Court annulled the death penalty on Omar, and ordered the papers to be returned to the trial court to hear more witnesses.

Yesterday both the Independent Student Congress Party, a student party of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), and human rights organisation Amnesty International stated that Omar has severely been beaten by prison guards in Kober Prison.

Repeatedly beaten’

According to Gurashi, he was seriously injured. “The effects of beatings with sticks still remain in his body and he is still tied with chains in solitary confinement.” She demanded that doctors can visit him and that he is transferred from Kober to another prison. “Those involved in the torture should be brought to justice.”

Asim Omar has been admitted to hospital, according to Amnesty International. “Asim Omar was repeatedly beaten with blunt instruments and whipped across his chest until he fainted. He was unable to appear in court because of his injuries, prompting the court to order his hospitalisation,” Amnesty quoted Omar’s lawyers, in a written statement yesterday. The torture happened on 3 October – just days before he was due in court for the first hearing of his case, which is now under re-trial.

Lawyers criticise the repeated postponement of the court sessions

“This young man has already suffered enormously at the hands of the politically compromised justice system in Sudan. He has been in detention for more than two years, held in at least three different detention centres, where he was severely beaten and subjected to other torture during interrogations,” said Joan Nyanyuki, Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

Omar’s lawyers told Radio Dabanga that they criticise the Supreme Court for not issuing a decision to acquit Asim. Lawyer Mohamed El Hafiz said that the repeated postponement of sessions is intended to prolong the trial, “which is a serious abuse of the rule of law”.

Concerning the events under which Asim Omar was arrested more than two years ago, the Sudanese Congress Party has always claimed that the charges were “fabricated”.

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