27 Sentenced to Death for Killing Sudan Protester

Those sentenced were members of the country's security forces
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 30, 2019 1:59 PM CST
27 Sentenced to Death for Killing Sudan Protester
People gather as they celebrate first anniversary of mass protests that led to the ouster of former president and longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir. in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2019.   (AP Photo)

A Sudanese court on Monday sentenced 27 members of the country's security forces to death by hanging for torturing and killing a detained protester during the uprising against longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir earlier this year. The verdict, which can be appealed, was the first connected to the killing of more than 200 pro-democracy protesters since the demonstrations began last December, the AP reports. “We are now sure our revolution is continuing on the right path,” said protester Amna Mohammed. She was among a cheering crowd of hundreds that gathered to welcome the verdict's announcement outside the court in Omdurman, the capital Khartoum's twin city. The death of protester Ahmed al-Khair, a schoolteacher, while in detention in February was a key point—and a symbol—in the uprising that convulsed the large African country.

April saw the toppling of al-Bashir, and ultimately a joint military-civilian Sovereign Council was created and has committed to rebuilding the country, promising elections in three years. The anniversary of the uprising this month drew teeming crowds to the streets in several cities and towns across the country, with people singing, dancing, and carrying flags. The Sudanese Professionals Association, an umbrella group of unions that led the protests against al-Bashir, welcomed Monday's verdict. The group vowed to continue pursuing and bringing to justice security officials accused of torture. Mohammed al-Feki Soliman, a member of the Sovereign Council, said the trial “renews the Sudanese people's trust in their judicial institutions.” (More on al-Khair's detention and death, and the ensuing trial, here.)

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