Four South Kordofan teachers may face death penalty
Four teachers who were arrested in Kologi in South Kordofan last month because of their protests against the use of toxins in gold mining, are facing capital charges.
In mid-November, residents of Kologi publicly expressed their rejection after the South Kordofan state government announced it had invited gold mining companies to operate in the area. In particular young people took to the streets in protest against the use of toxic materials such as cyanide and mercury in gold mining.
Hundreds of angry protesters in Kologi ignited local government buildings and the house of the locality commissioner. Riot police shot three protesters, including a higher secondary school student who later succumbed to his injuries.
Initially two young men were arrested. Later more people were held, including the four teachers who have officially been charged this week.
Dr El Jeili Hamouda, Legal Adviser to the National Committee for Environmental Advocacy, told Radio Dabanga on Friday that the local department of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) filed a complaint against the four defendants for inciting riots, undermining the constitutional order, and threatening the national security. The last charge is subject to the death penalty in case of conviction.
According to the lawyer, the four teachers have been held in the South Kordofan capital of Kadugli for more than a month without being charged on the pretext that there were other suspects awaiting interrogation.
In early November, the Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) stated that the gold industry in Sudan is affected by “bureaucratic and political corruption” in its report The Politics of Mining and Trading of Gold in Sudan: Challenges of Corruption and Lack of Transparency,
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