Supreme Court annuls student’s death penalty
The Supreme Court has annulled the death penalty on student Asim Omar, a member of a student opposition party at the University of Khartoum. He has to remain in prison for the death of a policeman.
Omar is a member of the Independent Student Congress Party, student party of the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP). He has been accused of killing an anti-riot policeman during student protests in April 2016.
The Supreme Court ordered the papers to be returned to the trial court to hear more witnesses.
Omar was convicted of murder on August 29 last year, which prompted hundreds of students and SCP members to demonstrate near the court against the death sentence. On December 5, the Court of Appeal in Khartoum upheld the death sentence.
“His hands and feet were shackled, and he faced the possibility of being hung,” a press statement by the SCP read. In January, the student started a hunger strike in the Kober prison in Khartoum to protest the prison administration’s decision to shackle him.
The Supreme Court’s annulment of the death penalty came after Omar had spent 30 months in Sudanese prisons. The SCP has welcomed the decision and said in a press statement to have confidence in the defence lawyers, who have volunteered to continue to defend Omar.
The SCP said that the party “would work in all ways available to ensure the drop of all charges against him and his immediate release”.
Asim Omar was held by officers of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) on May 2, 2016, in front of the University of Khartoum, when he joined a demonstration against the plans to sell the university buildings.
After a period of incommunicado detention, Omar was handed over to the police in Khartoum who officially told him that he had been charged with “causing serious harm, but who did not inform him about the injured person, nor about the circumstances or causes of the injury”.
The SCP claims that the charges were fabricated. In its statement in September: “The events became suspicious after he was informed that the charge against him had become premeditated murder because he had caused the death of a policeman on 28 April. It was obvious the charges were fabricated, as that day the student did not leave his home.”
Darfur student on hunger strike on Sudan Kober prison's death row (24 January 2018)
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