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Darfur Bar Association: ‘Charges to be laid against lawyers for racist hot mic rant’

April 18 - 2022 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) says that it has agreed with the former director of the National Authority for Radio and Television, Luqman Ahmed, to open a criminal complaint against the members of the defence team for the alleged plotters of the June 30, 1989 coup, who were caught on a hot mic uttering racist slurs against Ahmed.

The debacle began last week, when a hot mic during an intermission in the trial, caught lawyers Abubakir Abdelrazek and Mohamed Shawkat, describing 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 DBA called on all legal entities and partners to nominate their representatives to initiate the procedures and form a secretariat to follow up. The association said that the door will remain open for the accession of human rights organisations and civil society forces.

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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