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Investigators prove torture of Kassala teacher in detention

February 8 - 2019 KHARTOUM / KASSALA
Teachers who protest in Omdurman on February 5, in protest against the killing of Ahmed El Kheir (RD)
Teachers who protest in Omdurman on February 5, in protest against the killing of Ahmed El Kheir (RD)

The investigative committee that supervises investigations into the recent events of the Sudan protests has presented a report on the death of teacher Ahmed El Kheir. Injuries show that he has been tortured to death in detention of the security service.

The report of the committee was presented at a press conference at Sudan News Agency (Suna) Thursday evening and proves that there were severe injuries on the body of Ahmed El Kheir, in the form of bruises spread on the back, the back of the two arms, the right kidney and the right thigh and mid-legs.

The bruises were caused by the hitting with a solid instrument, according to the report.

Ahmed El Kheir was a teacher from Khashm El Girba in Kassala who was held after demonstrations in the town on January 31. Reports emerged that National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) officers had detained him from his home and taken him to a security detention centre where they brutally tortured him. Following his death, the authorities in Kassala said that the teacher had felt sick during interrogation.

The new report by the committee attributed the death of El Kheir to fatal complications of his injuries that caused his death. Chairman Amer Ibrahim said that the teacher was transferred from a security unit in Khasm El Girba to the NISS headquarters in Kassala. He died during the transport.

His body was then received at the morgue in Kassala for investigation. However, due to lack of forensic doctors in Kassala, the body was referred to the Teaching Hospital in El Gedaref.

Chairman Ibrahim noted that the Public Prosecution has questioned the doctor who received the case in Kassala Hospital. He mentioned the medical director of the Kassala Hospital and two detainees inside the security unit in Khasm El Girba that time, to be questioned as well.

He added that the doctor from the morgue was interviewed too after receiving the initial report, about whether the doctor had seen visible traces of torture on the body or of sexual assault with a sharp instrument.

The forensic doctor in El Gezira, according to Ibrahim, stated in his report that no signs of sexual contact were found. Besides, there were no traces of blood in the underwear of the deceased.

The report arrived a day after a man who was detained together with Ahmed El Kheir testified to prosecutors that he saw agents sodomise El Kheir with a stick.

Ahmed El Kheir

PCP demands investigation of officers

The Popular Congress Party (PCP) claimed that one of the persons who stands accused of torturing teacher Ahmed El Kheir to death has escaped from detention. The party demanded the detention and investigation into all members of the Khashm El Girba security unit, in addition to 35 officers who came from the headquarters of the state.

Yesterday, PCP Political Secretary Idris Suleiman called in a news conference to dismiss the Kassala state governor and the police chief Mohamed Hassan Yassen, and described them as fake witnesses.

“The party is not assured about the negative influence of the governor and the police chief on the investigation [...] especially since the martyr was a critic of the governor’s policy.”

Suleiman threatened to escalate the level of accountability in the absence of a fair and transparent judicial and legal investigation into the case. “You are in charge if the criminals are not determined in a clear manner” he addressed the director of the security apparatus (NISS).

Solidarity protests

On Wednesday morning, Khashm El Girba of Kassala state saw a massive demonstration calling for the overthrow of the regime and the punishment of those involved in the assassination of teacher Ahmed El Kheir, by torture in the cells of the security apparatus.

Eyewitnesses told Radio Dabanga that the demonstration swept through the town, closed a number of main roads, and headed towards the locality and the security offices. Throughout Sudan demonstrators carried banners saying “Killing a teacher is killing a nation”, as for example doctors in Kosti in White Nile state did.

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