Darfuri student heard by judge in Khartoum without defence lawyer
The Darfur Bar Association (DBA) has criticised the circumstances accompanying the start of the trial of Mohamed Baggari, a student from Darfur, who has been charged with killing a member of the student wing of the ruling party in Khartoum late April.
About 150 militant students of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), backed by university guards, assaulted a number of members of the Darfur Student Association who were having a meeting at the Sharg El Nil College campus on 29 April. During the ensuing clashes, one of the assailants, Mohamed Awadelkarim, secretary-general of the National Islamist Students Movement was killed.
“By coincidence, a lawyer discovered that Baggari was brought before a judge of the criminal court of central Khartoum North on Thursday, without a defence lawyer present,” El Sadig Ali Hassan, secretary-general of the DBA, told Radio Dabanga.
“The DBA is currently attempting to get in contact with the student’s family in Omdurman, and at the same time has contacted competent legal sources, to be kept informed about the proceedings, so we will be able to provide legal aid to the accused”, he said.
According to Hassan, the reason for the authorities withholding information on Baggari’s trial dates is “because they want to convict him as soon as possible, in order to make him a scapegoat for the attack by the NCP student members against the Darfuri students on that disastrous day”.
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