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‘Excessive violence’ used to quell march in Sudan capital

December 27 - 2018 KHARTOUM
A sharpshooter on a Khartoum rooftop ahead of Tuesday's protest march
A sharpshooter on a Khartoum rooftop ahead of Tuesday's protest march

Teachers, medical professionals, and journalists have reported that the Sudanese authorities used ‘excessive force and violence’ against members of the public who participated in the march organised by the Sudan Professionals Association in Khartoum on Tuesday, which demanded the step-down of President Omar Al Bashir and overthrow of the regime.

In an interview with Radio Dabanga, teacher Duriya Babikir she said that agents of the security apparatus, wearing uniforms, as well as snipers on the roofs of high buildings, fired live bullets at the peaceful demonstrators, wounding about 10 of them.

She added that police and security forces fired various types of tear gas, leading to breathing problems and fainting among the demonstrators.

Security troops also arrested a large number of demonstrators and severely beat them with batons and used electric wires as whips.

‘Shooting to kill’

Doctors from Khartoum who treated demonstrators confirmed that the security forces used excessive violence and were “shooting to kill”. One of the protestors was hit in the neck. Another was shot in his head.

They described what had happened as “a real tragedy”.

Yasir Abdallah, journalist of El Sudani newspaper said he was beaten with rifle butts on his head by an armed group driving a Hilux. They insulted him, called his mother a prostitute.

He said some wore civilian clothes. “Others wore police uniforms, although their behaviour showed they were not policemen. Moreover, they were wearing sandals and not shoes as policemen should.”

Newspaper seized

On Wednesday, officers of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated El Jareeda newspaper at the printing press for the third day in a week for refusing to publish the rectification set by the security apparatus concerning the protest march in Khartoum on Tuesday.

The banned copies covered the demonstration on Tuesday and Amnesty International’s report on the number of people killed in the various protests in the country.

Questions in Parliament

On Wednesday, MPs put “an urgent question” to the Speaker of Parliament in Omdurman about the shooting at the demonstrators and the large number of detentions.

The MPs wondered about the killers. “To whom do they belong? And what measures have been taken to prevent repeating attacks on the demonstrators exercising their constitutional and legal rights.”

On Wednesday, the Parliament approved the summoning of the Minister of the Interior, for questions about the killing and arrest of demonstrators in various places in the country.

Popular Congress Party

The opposition Popular Congress Party condemned the killing of demonstrators and the violence against them, and called on the government to conduct an investigation into the events.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Idris Suleiman, the political secretary of the party, said that 17 protestors were killed, 88 were injured and 519 people were arrested, most of whom were released again.

Suleiman called on the government to conduct an urgent investigation into the deaths of the demonstrators and release the rest of the detainees, stressing that there is no justification for the arrests.

He stressed his party’s categorical rejection of violence and the suppression of demonstrations, pointing out that the demonstrations have nothing to do with Israel, any agents or mercenaries.

He expressed his concern at the lack of seriousness of the government in reducing government spending, and accused the government of mismanagement and a lack of sense for the problems of the people, and demanded the rulers “not to bury their heads in the sand”.


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