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Darfur lawyers: Media trial of ‘Khartoum shooters’ shows TMC weakness

May 22 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Darfur Bar Association
Darfur Bar Association

The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) says that the ‘media trial’ of those alleged to have been involved in the shooting at the sit-in in front of the General Command of the Sudanese Army in Khartoum on May 13, which caused the deaths of at least five people, “shows the weakness of the junta”.

On May 13, members of “an unidentified militia group”, some allegedly of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia, attacked people who were breaking their Ramadan fast at the sit-in with live ammunition, batons and whips.

Three protestors and an army captain were killed instantly. The Sudanese Central Doctors Committee confirmed that 77 people were shot, while a total of more than 200 were injured. A 17-year-old youth succumbed to his bullet wounds in a hospital.

In a statement on Tuesday, the DBA asserts that the appearance of some of the people “from the Sudanese margin” accused of involvement in the attack on the demonstrators, and their presentation on television, “expose the Military Junta and its leadership, which refuses under weak pretexts to present the war criminal Al Bashir to the media for the serious crimes he committed against the people.”

The DBA confirmed that the media trial of those from the margin areas reveals on the other hand that the discrimination practiced by the official national bodies of the state is still prevalent.

RSF militia

The DBA fact-finding committee said on the events, that preliminary information indicates the involvement of elements belonging to the army and the RSF in the events.

The committee condemned in the strongest words and phrases “the media trial carried out by the army and the RSF of those affected, the magnitude of their impact, and their right to a fair trial,” which it says “recalls the scenes of discrimination on the basis of racism that has been practiced by some official organs, especially the security apparatus even after the revolution”.

The committee of inquiry recommended that the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the Alliance for Freedom and Change (AFC) be informed of the lack of soundness of the measures taken to investigate the incidents of the attack against the protestors; that proper investigation is only possible through the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry.

In its statement, the committee offered to those affected by the media trial to provide legal aid to them in order to achieve justice and fairness. It said it would start meeting them to verify their legal and health status.

Darfuri students to go on trial

The DBA revealed the determination of the Court of Terrorism in Khartoum Criminal Court North to hold a hearing on 12 June to try six Darfuri students at the University of Sudan, they were arrested in December last year from inside their house at Hillet Koko in Khartoum North by the security service.

The DBA said in a statement that the trial comes on the basis of a complaint filed by the security apparatus after their arrest and presentation in the media with bombing tools.

The DBA considered this as a continuation of the prosecution of malicious charges and unfair trials.

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