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Sudan: lawyers protest against killing of demonstrators in Khartoum

People continue protests demanding the restoration of civilian rule in Khartoum, Sudan on 17 January 2022. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]
People continue protests demanding the restoration of civilian rule in Khartoum, Sudan on 17 January 2022. [Mahmoud Hjaj - Anadolu Agency]

Sudanese human rights lawyers from the Ministry of Justice organised a sit-in on Sunday outside the ministry building in Khartoum to protest against the killing of protesters by the security services, Anadolu has reported. The lawyers were joined by activists at the protest, where banners were held condemning the killing of peaceful demonstrators and demanding civilian rule in the country.

"We demand the immediate lifting of the state of emergency, the reversal of all emergency measures and orders, and the immediate cessation of crimes and violations against peaceful demonstrators, most notably extrajudicial killing," said one protester. "We call for the identity of those responsible for such violations and crimes to be revealed immediately so that they can be brought to justice and guarantee the right to demonstrate and peaceful expression."

The protesters have stressed the need to transfer executive authority in Sudan to a civilian government agreed upon by the people. This would assume power for the remainder of the transitional period until early 2024 before handing it over to a civilian government elected democratically by Sudanese citizens.

READ: UN condemns arrest of female activist in Sudan

There was no immediate comment about the protest from the Sudanese authorities. Last Tuesday, however, the head of the Sovereign Council, Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan, ordered the formation of a fact-finding committee to investigate the killing of seven protesters a day before, and the injuring of dozens more. Another protester succumbed to his wounds on Friday, bringing the death toll to eight.

Sudan has been living through a political crisis since October last year, when Al-Burhan dissolved the transitional council, announced a state of emergency across the country, dismissed the government and assumed full power. Under local and international pressure, Al-Burhan and dismissed Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok signed a political agreement in November, reinstating Hamdok to his position. However, the agreement was rejected widely by the country's political parties, which viewed it as an acceptance of Al-Burhan's coup.

Hamdok resigned from his position on 2 January in light of the protests rejecting his agreement with Al-Burhan and the demands for full civilian rule.

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