Sudan: Families of dead protestors demonstrate for ratification of Rome Statute
Members of the December Revolution* Martyrs’ Families Organisation carried out a protest yesterday in front of the Ministry of Justice calling for the ratification of the 1998 Rome Statute and the transfer of the indicted Sudanese to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Engineer Farah Abbas, leader of the December Revolution Martyrs’ Families Organisation, said that Sudan joining the ICC would be a real legal step forward and help to fulfil the dreams of the protestors killed during the revolution. Many of the demonstrators were killed during the June 3 massacre**, when government forces violently dispersed a sit-in in Khartoum in 2019.
The demonstrators seek justice, an end to impunity, respect for the victims, and safety and security in Sudan, Farah Abbas said.
A protest sit-in of residents from El Taweisha in North Darfur entered its twelfth day. The demonstrators protest against the deterioration of water services, health care and education. The state government sent a delegation headed by Director of Infrastructure Mai Ahmed Adam to speak with the protestors and solve the problems.
The capital Khartoum witnessed a stifling transportation crisis after an increase in tariffs and rising fuel prices. Vehicles are queuing up at petrol stations. A driver told Radio Dabanga that many vehicles have been out of service due to the high cost of fuel.
* December 2018 revolution
From mid-December 2018, Sudan experienced a popular uprising called-out by the Sudanese Professionals Association and signatories to the Declaration of Freedom and Change, calling for the overthrow of the regime. Demonstrations were met with violent resistance from the government, however the sheer volume of public support resulted in the uprising reaching critical mass. On April 11, the 30-year dictatorship of Omar Al Bashir was overthrown by a military coup.
Al Bashir and several members of his deposed regime have been arrested and charged for corruption, and their part in government violence against protestors in the lead-up to the coup.
On Saturday, Al Bashir himself was convicted on charges of corruption, and sentenced to two years in a ‘correctional facility’ for elderly prisoners.
Judge El Sadig Abdelrahman stipulated that Al Bashir’s two-year sentence will commence after a verdict has been reached in another case against him regarding the killing of demonstrators during the protests that led to his removal.
Ironically, Al Bashir, is currently being held in Khartoum’s Kober Prison, which became notorious under his regime for holding countless political detainees, many of whom were tortured or worse.
The ousted president has also been charged with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters, and this week he was summoned for questioning over his role in the 1989 military coup that brought him to power.
** June 3 massacre
The sit-in in Khartoum was organised on April 6, 2019, to pressure the then ruling Omar Al Bashir to step down. Five days later, the dictator was deposed in a military coup. The protestors continued occupying the space in front of the Defence Ministry, calling on the military to cede power to a civilian government.
Two months later, on June 3/Ramadan 29, the people at the sit-in were attacked by government forces. The attacks cost the life of 127 demonstrators. About 700 protesters and others present at the sit-in that day were injured. More than 100 people went missing.
An independent Committee of Inquiry started to investigate the ‘June 3 Massacre’ in October 2019. In March 2020, hundreds of young protestors demonstrated in Khartoum demanding a final report from the committee.
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