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'Compensation for September protest victims not enough': Sudanese lawyer

August 16 - 2015 KHARTOUM
People in Khartoum protest against the lifting of fuel subsidies in September 2013 (file photo)
People in Khartoum protest against the lifting of fuel subsidies in September 2013 (file photo)

The crimes committed against demonstrators during the September 2013 protests cannot be settled by compensations alone, but should be addressed through specific actions stipulated by international laws, a Sudanese lawyer told Radio Dabanga on Friday.

In September 2013, the government’s decision to lift subsidies on fuel sparked protests in various Sudanese towns, that were violently suppressed by security forces and paramilitaries. According to the Sudan Doctors' Syndicate, some 200 protesters were killed in the Sudanese capital alone. The Sudanese government claims that the death toll did not exceed 80 people.

On Monday, after a silence for almost two years, President El Bashir ordered the payment of compensation to the relatives of the slain demonstrators and those whose businesses were affected by the protests.

Mutasim El Haj, the lawyer of a number of families of protesters killed during nationwide demonstrations in September-October 2013, said that the responsibility for these crimes cannot be settled by providing compensation alone.

He stressed to Radio Dabanga that “internationally recognised procedures should be followed, as set out by the African Law for Human Rights and the UN.

“First, the perpetrators have to be identified and charged. During the process, the size of the moral and financial compensations are to be discussed with the relatives of the victims,” he explained. “The payment of the compensation is supposed to be done in the final phase.”

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