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Sudan breaks up gathering of opposition-linked lawyers

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August 1, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Security forces raided the headquarters of the Sudanese Bar Union (SBU) on Wednesday and violently broke up a Ramadan breakfast gathering of opposition-affiliated lawyers, arresting and injuring a number of them.

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Sudanese lawyers hold a banner calling for freedom of expression and peaceful demonstration during a protest against the arrest of demonstrators outside the governor’s house in the South Darfur capital of Nyala on July 16, 2012.

Eye witnesses told Sudan Tribune that the raid followed an altercation between the opposition group known as the Democratic Lawyers Gathering (DLG) and SBU Chairman Abdel Rahman Al-Khalifa, who is a member of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP), when the latter refused to allow them to hold their annual Ramadan breakfast at SBU headquarters.

The situation escalated when DLG members insisted on their right to hold the breakfast and entered the building despite the objections of the ruling party member.

After breakfast, prominent opposition lawyer and member of the Bath Party, Wagdi Salih, started giving a speech in which he condemned the behaviour of the SBU chairman, who tried to prevent them from entering the building. Salih further called for a vote of no-confidence on the SBU leadership accusing it of failing to protect the rights of the union members.

The speaker was suddenly interrupted when plain-clothed security agents carrying batons entered the scene and started ordering the crowd to vacate the premises while police forces arrived to surround the building.

A confrontation ensued when some opposition lawyers tried to defend themselves and chanted slogans denouncing the regime. The clashes resulted in the injury of 12 lawyers, most notably Wagdi Salih, Salih Mahmoud, Nasr Al-Din Abdel Ati, Salwa Saeed and Ghada Idriss.

An unknown number of lawyers were also arrested in the raid.

The DLG is the same group of lawyers that staged a protest on 16 July and submitted a memo to President Omer Al-Bashir and the Justice Minister denouncing price rises and what they described as the brutality and violent crackdown with which security authorities dealt with citizens who took to the streets demonstrating against the regime’s policies.

The lawyers’ protest came in response to continuing suppression by security authorities of demonstrations by citizens against price rises and alleged corruption of the NCP.

Wednesday’s events also follow the killing of eight protesters including many teenagers by police forces during price protests in Nyala town in the western region of Darfur.

(ST)

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  • 2 August 2012 10:14, by hellonearth

    BASHIT YOU TIME IS ALMOST UP. SADAAM HUSSAIN AND GADDAFI ARE WAITING FOR YOU IN HELL. THESE LAWYERS KNOW THE LAW HAS BEEN BROKEN. THEY ARE DEMONSTRATING AGAINST THE ONE FAMILY RULE THAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING FOR YEARS IN THE SUDAN

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    • 2 August 2012 10:32, by zulu

      This burrow is surely going and these lawyers need not wait in khartoum for a military coupe. the only and best option is a bloody revolt with the unity of the rebels along the Sudanese people. Bravo

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      • 2 August 2012 11:17, by okucu pa lotinokwan

        It is really shame lawyers are bee beaten like streets childrens shame on the rulers in Khartoum,but their days are numbered.

        OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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      • 2 August 2012 11:32, by mohammed ali

        Zulu, why donnot you save your call for blody revolt for your "robbed" people. The thieves had stolen all thir money. It has reached you in Australia but it did not reach the poor,starving, innocent & marginalized people of SS in Juba itself!

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        • 2 August 2012 12:25, by Ruach

          My advice goes to the lawyers to take care of that noisy president called Bashir,the most wanted person by ICC.There is no holy month,day,year or week in Sudan

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        • 2 August 2012 14:47, by eye-of-an-eye

          Mohamed pig, you always steak on stolen money, Im very happy that its has been stolen by the owners than you animals, evils, dogs, paresites who stolen, depended on our resources, shame on you son of prostitudes, look even the lawyers are against your evil deeds who then supportive to NCP criminals? answer is NO creature. to hell with Bashir goverment of terior.

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        • 3 August 2012 04:23, by SeekingTruth

          The NCP, the party that guards itself into power with whips, bullets, raiding, raping, lies, propagandas, stealing/theft etc. I wonder how long will it keep doing these heinous crimes for? Average northern Sudanese must know that the actions of one isolated groups must also be corrected by another human beings. Nothing else will be worth fighting for than this right here!

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    • 2 August 2012 13:35, by sunny

      Sudan should respect human right law instead of brutally beating and arresting Layers of high definition like mere citizens.

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  • 2 August 2012 16:33, by Dauson Gieth

    Mohamed Ali,

    I wonder what Sudanese you really are. Do you endorse this violent behaviuor against your own people, including killing of students in Nyala? Oh, it’s fullfiling for you to compared this brutalized and massacred population to the one robbed with $$$$ in the South..huh!

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