Two Darfuri students were arrested in the Khartoum Bahri Criminal Court on Wednesday, after they protested against the process.
The students were attending the first hearing in the trial of their colleague Mohamed Baggari, who stands accused of killing the secretary of the Islamist students wing of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) on 29 April.
“Mohamed Abdelrahman Hamdi of El Nilein University and Mohamed Saleh of Khartoum University raised pictures of the accused, and loudly denounced the absence of justice in Sudan,” a member of the Darfur Students’ Association told Radio Dabanga.
He said that both students are now being held at a police station in Khartoum North. Their relatives are trying to have them released on bail.
The trial commenced with tight security measures, he added. The court heard the investigating police officer in the case, Lt. Ibrahim Mohamed Ali.
The judge scheduled 3 September for the second hearing session to hear to the witnesses for the prosecution and the defence.
Baggari was first brought before a judge of the Khartoum Bahri Criminal Court on 14 May, without a defence lawyer present.
Attacks by militant students of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), backed by security agents, on Darfuri students and student members of opposition parties, have been going on since years. Yet, end last year the number of assaults grew significantly.
Security agents also began to search buses in Khartoum for young people of Darfuri origin. “Any young person they suspect comes from the western part of the country is picked out and detained,” students told Radio Dabanga in December. They described the detention campaign “based on colour and identity” as the “fiercest one since 2008, when rebel forces of the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) raided Omdurman”.
On 4 February, clashes erupted at the Omdurman Ahlia University, after NCP students verbally abused Darfur students while they were playing football at the campus.
The “hate campaign” against Darfuri students intensified after the death of Mohamed Awadelkarim, a senior member of the NCP Islamist student wing at Sharg El Nil College on 29 April. He was killed in clashes that erupted after a group of NCP students reportedly attacked Darfuri students attending a meeting of the Darfur Student Association at the campus.
In the following weeks, militant NCP students and agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) continued to assault and detain Darfuris studying at universities in Khartoum and other Sudanese towns.