The second session of the trial of security officials accused of torturing teacher Ahmed El Kheir to death in Kassala in early February, was held amid tight security measures in Omdurman on Wednesday. Roads leading to the court were closed, preventing hundreds of people, including lawyers, from accessing the court buildings.
It is alleged that teacher El Kheir was killed, reportedly under torture, by members of the security apparatus in Khashm El Girba after his arrest in January. His death on February 2 led to massive demonstrations.
Police fired a barrage of tear gas and bullets at one group of demonstrators that did arrive at the Central Omdurman Court. Witnesses said the police were unable to break-up the demonstration.
Hundreds of activists, teachers and families of people who were killed gathered on roads near the Omdurman court after all its entrances were closed. Outside, the crowd held-up pictures of El Kheir and others killed during the December revolution.
Khalid Ibrahim, a lawyer from the indictment panel, said that the court was held in the presence of all 41 defendants. He explained that the court heard a report from the investigator, a speech to the prosecutor, and received six documents.
The tight security measures hindered the course of justice and prevented a number of lawyers from reaching the courtroom, he said.
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