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Sudan capital witnesses limited protests against law amendments

July 19 - 2020 KHARTOUM
Limited protests in Khartoum against law amendments. The banner in the front says “God's religion and the Sharia form a red line”. (Social media)
Limited protests in Khartoum against law amendments. The banner in the front says “God's religion and the Sharia form a red line”. (Social media)

Limited demonstrations took place in Khartoum after the Friday prayers, in protest against amendments of the Sudanese Penal Code, which according to them violate the Sharia (Islamic law).

A delegation of the Ansar El Sunna El Mohamediya group met with Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and Minister of Religious Affairs Nasreldin Mofreh on Thursday, to discuss the amendments.

The PM asserted “the government's eagerness to preserve the heritage and values of Islam” and stressed their “respect for the Islamic principles without prejudice”.

Last week, Khartoum abolished legislation that made apostacy punishable by death and allowed the Public Order police to publicly flog people. Non-Muslims will be permitted to drink, import and sell alcohol.

On Friday afternoon, groups of worshipers from the fundamentalist El Mursalin mosque in Jabra and the mosque in El Jereif West headed by Mohamed Abdelkarim took to the streets in Khartoum in protest against the amendments.

Hard-liners among imams in the Sudanese capital condemned the new legislation last week, and threatened to overwhelm Khartoum with protests.

On Thursday morning, the bridges in the city and the roads leading to the centre of Khartoum were closed, as precautionary measures for the protests announced for Friday.

The few demonstrations however ended in peace, without intervention by the authorities, listeners told Radio Dabanga.

In January, an arrest warrant was issued against Abdelhay Yousef, Imam of the El Mursalin Mosque in Jabra, on charges of dealing with terrorism. Yousef reportedly left Sudan to participate in a conference and has not returned to the country.

Fundamentalist Mohamed Abdelkarim leads a protest against proposed new legislation,
Khartoum, November 2019 (Social media)

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