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Sudan releases journalists and arrests professors as protests rage on

A Sudanese protester flashes the victory gesture as he stands atop a gatehouse while others chant slogans and wave the flag of the opposition Umma Party led by Sadiq al-Mahdi, during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on 25 January 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]
A Sudanese protester flashes the victory gesture as he stands atop a gatehouse while others chant slogans and wave the flag of the opposition Umma Party led by Sadiq al-Mahdi, during a demonstration in the capital Khartoum's twin city of Omdurman on 25 January 2019 [AFP/Getty Images]

Security forces arrested 14 professors who were gathering to protest outside Khartoum University on Tuesday, witnesses said, as anti-government demonstrations neared the end of their eighth week.

The arrests come a day after the Sudanese security services released 11 journalists, who were arrested while covering the country’s anti-government protests.

Doctors also rallied outside state and private hospitals in Sudan’s capital and other cities against the rule of President Omar al-Bashir, witnesses added.

Union members, students, opposition activists and others, frustrated with economic hardships, have held near daily protests since Dec. 19, in the most sustained challenge to Bashir’s three decades in power.

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Photos posted online on Tuesday showed people holding banners marked with “Freedom, justice and peace”, “No to torturing and killing protesters” and other slogans.

Rights groups say at least 45 people have been killed in the protests since they began on December 19, while the government puts the death toll at 31.

Bashir has blamed the unrest on unnamed foreign powers and showed no signs of bowing to demands to quit. But he and some senior officials have adopted a more conciliatory tone in recent weeks and promised to free detained protesters.

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