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Sudan Attorney General prohibits police brutality during peaceful protests

December 18 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Protestor covers tear gas rocket with a bucket during a demonstration on February 20. 2020 (RD)
Protestor covers tear gas rocket with a bucket during a demonstration on February 20. 2020 (RD)

Sudan's Attorney General, Tajelsir El Hibir, has prohibited police forces in the country from using bullets or tear gas against protestors during the March of the Millions tomorrow. All bridges in Khartoum will be closed from this evening until Sunday.

The March of the Millions is held on December 19 annually, to celebrate the anniversary of the 2018 December revolution that toppled the regime of Omar Al Bashir. The Council of Ministers have made Saturday a public holiday, to celebrate the anniversary of the "glorious December revolution,” imploring people to adhere to COVID-19 regulations.

In a statement yesterday, El Hibir prohibited the use of bullets and tear gas to disperse peaceful gatherings, in line with the human right to peaceful expression and presenting peaceful demands to competent authorities.

He recommended that prosecutors accompany security police forces to monitor their activities and coordinate with committees which are organising the marches.

The attorney general ordered the heads of public prosecution to assign a sufficient number of prosecutors to cover the demonstrations and gatherings. He called upon the public prosecutors to supervise immediate investigation of protestors who have been arrested.

The aim is to prevent police brutality under any circumstances, according to El Hibir. Sudanese police are known for their use of excessive use of force against protestors, including tear gas, batons, live ammunition and rubber bullets, before and since the fall of the former regime.

A force from the Khartoum Investigation and Security Police will also be deployed during the marches to monitor any danger threatening public safety. The forces will be deployed in the streets and on the rooves of high buildings.

Course correction

This year, the Sudanese Professionals Association, the Association of the December Revolution Martyrs' Families, the Teachers Union, and the Communist Party of Sudan are also demanding the correction of the course of the revolution.

The organisations said in a statement yesterday that the aim of the marches is to push for justice and accountability in Sudan, to strengthen the civil authorities during the transitional period, to protest against commercial companies owned by the military and security apparatus, and to confront the attempts to form a “lame Legislative Council”.

Last month, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC) announced that the formation of the Legislative Council will take place later than planned, on December 31.

The decision followed a statement on November 5 by the SPA, which demanded fair representation of “all the forces of the revolution,” including members of the Resistance Committees active in many towns and villages of the country, the Association of the December Revolution Martyrs' Families, and minority groups in Sudan.

A day earlier, leaders of the Resistance Committees withdrew from a meeting with the FFC about the distribution of seats in parliament, citing disagreements with the agenda.

Disagreements between the military and civilian components of Sudan’s government resurfaced last week over a bill presented by the US Congress on Friday.

Last Sunday, protests took place in Khartoum and a number of states to mark the second anniversary of the December revolution, and in preparation for the December 19 Marches of the Millions, announced by a number of activist groups to correct the course of the revolution and establish a civilian government.

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