The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) has called on the Attorney General to file criminal charges of ‘terrorism, criminal sedition, and incitement to murder’ against two prominent leaders of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
The DBA reacted to sayings by former vice-president Ali Osman Taha that alongside militant student brigades and jihadist units in most of the universities in the country, the ruling party is making use of shadow jihadist battalions to prevent protests.
“These battalions are active outside the framework of the regular forces and the state,” the Darfur lawyers said in a statement on Wednesday. The DBA also cited former speaker of the federal Parliament El Fateh Ezzeldin, who said that the heads of protesters should be cut off.
The Bar Association said that all this requires the attorney-general to take the necessary and appropriate measures to resolve these battalions and to hold the authorities accountable for the crimes committed against innocent demonstrators.
It said in its statement that it had received a letter of approval from 10 MPs to file a criminal case against Taha and Ezzeldin for “incitement of murder and criminal terrorism against defenceless Sudanese citizens”.
The MPs are Abdelaziz Dafallah, Abulgasim Burtam, Abdeljalil Ajabein, Bakri Salama, Mohamed Widatallah, Tajeldin Jamaleldin, Hasan Dakin, Ahmed Sabah El Kheir, Mubarak El Nour, and Mubarak El Abbas.
Earlier this week, Attorney-General Omar Ahmed Mohamed ordered the security forces and the police to refrain from chasing demonstrators in alleys and homes, except in the case of individual actions contrary to the law. In a press conference, he stressed the Public Prosecution’s keenness to coordinate the dissolution of the demonstrations with the police officers in charge, in accordance with Criminal Code procedures.
The DBA expressed appreciation of the directives issued by the attorney-general not to hunt-down protesters in alleys and houses, as well as his proposal to mobilise 50 prosecutors in Khartoum state to support the public prosecutors in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North. They are to assist in investigations and field coverage during the protests. Their statement said that it fully welcomes these directives, which are consistent with the powers and competences of the Public Prosecution.
“The Darfur Bar Association reiterates its full support for the directives of the Attorney General and will initiate its cooperation with the Public Prosecution and provide the specialised prosecution agencies with the results of their investigation into the crimes committed by masked persons *.
It demands of the Attorney General take note and file criminal reports against both NCP leaders and their accountability for the practice of terrorism, criminal sedition, incitement to murder. “The association demands appropriate measures be taken to resolve these battalions and hold their affiliates accountable for their crimes,” the statement reads.
* During the past weeks of demonstrations, several sources in Khartoum mentioned “masked men driving vehicles without plates throughout the city, abusing, detaining, and killing innocent protesters”.