Su­dan sen­tences 29 for killing teacher in cus­tody

The Punch - - WORLD -

ASu­danese court has sen­tenced 29 in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cers to death for the tor­ture and killing of a teacher.

The Bri­tish Broad­cast­ing Cor­po­ra­tion reports that Ah­mad al-khair, 36, died in cus­tody in Fe­bru­ary fol­low­ing his ar­rest for taking part in protests against then Pres­i­dent Omar al-bashir’s gov­ern­ment.

These are the first sen­tences handed down over the crack­down on pro-democ­racy ac­tivists in the months be­fore Bashir was top­pled in April.

The pros­e­cu­tion said the death sen­tences were a just pun­ish­ment.

After the sen­tenc­ing, the judge asked al-khair’s brother, Sa’d, whether he wanted the 29 men to be par­doned – but he said he wanted them to be ex­e­cuted in­stead.

A lawyer for the de­fence said he would ap­peal.

The court found that Ah­mad

Al-khair was beaten and tor­tured to death by the of­fi­cers at a de­ten­tion cen­tre in the east­ern state of Kas­sala.

Under the for­mer Pres­i­dent Bashir, Su­dan en­forced the death penalty, and two peo­ple were ex­e­cuted in 2018.

Ah­mad Al-khair’s case drew wide­spread at­ten­tion in Su­dan, and his killing fu­elled the protests against the 75-year-old Bashir. A huge crowd ral­lied out­side the court in Omdurman, the twin city of the cap­i­tal, Khar­toum, to hear the ver­dict.

At least 170 peo­ple were killed dur­ing the months-long crack­down against the protest move­ment. Bashir was even­tu­ally over­thrown by the mil­i­tary, 30 years after he took power in a coup.

Ear­lier this month, he was sen­tenced to two years for cor­rup­tion. The court ruled that he should serve the sen­tence in a cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity, as he was too old to be in prison.

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