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Complaint of racism filed against Sudan lawyer for hot mic slur

April 20 - 2022 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

A human rights body, which included several prominent legal groups in Sudan, has begun compiling a complaint against those accused of the racist abuse of the former director of the National Authority for Radio and Television, Luqman Ahmed, who were caught on a hot mic uttering racist slurs against Ahmed last week.

The body, which includes the legal body for the defence of those affected by unlawful arrest and detention, the Darfur Bar Association, Sudan Lawyers, and Emergency Lawyers, said in a statement on Sunday, that it submitted the complaint papers and permission to sue lawyer Mohamed Shawkat before the Lawyers Complaints Committee.

A hot mic incident during an intermission in the Khartoum trial of the alleged plotters of the June 30, 1989 coup, caught a conversation between Shawkat and colleague Abubakir Abdelrazek, during which Shawkat allegedly described the former director as a ‘slave’ (which is often used as a pejorative term for black people in Sudan) and having ‘a big nose’.

The legal groups held an extensive meeting to form a body to take these steps. The human rights body says that it has asked for a session to respond to the complaint on April 24.

In a separate statement, Member of the Sovereignty Council and Chairman of the Sudan Revolutionary Front, El Hadi Idris, stressed the need for the security and justice agencies to investigate the incident of racist abuse, and to bring those involved to trial and hold them accountable.

Other groups have called for an investigation into the incident and called on the authorities to remove the licenses of the two lawyers engaged in racism.

In response, a group of 20 Sudanese and international human rights and civil society NGOs have addressed an urgent appeal to the international community “to draw attention to the growing threats of racism, hate speech and intolerance in Sudan”. Hate speech and public calls for incitement to ethnic violence, particularly through social media platforms, are growing unabated in the silence of the Sudanese authorities, the NGOs lament.

The head of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council, Gen Abdelfattah El Burhan, dismissed Luqman Ahmed from his post as director of the National Authority for Radio and Television on 10 April. According to El Burhan’s media advisor, the director was dismissed due to his decision to show coverage of the anti-coup protests and “ignoring El Burhan’s news”. The director was originally appointed by former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok.

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