Home | News    Sunday 7 August 2005

1,600 detained following Khartoum riots

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KHARTOUM, Aug 6, 2005 — Sudanese authorities detained some 1,640 people following deadly riots in the capital sparked by the death of southern leader John Garang, a human rights group said Saturday.

Police and troops patrol downtown Khartoum and areas around the city as protesters continue to attack and burn cars, civilian homes and markets for the second day in Khartoum,Tuesday Aug. 2, 2005. (AP) .

Of those, 700 have already been tried and convicted of offences including looting, theft and destruction of public or private property, Kamal Mohammed al-Amin, a lawyer with the Sudanese Group for Human Rights, told AFP.

Punishments handed down by the courts ranged from fines or flogging to three-month prison terms, he said.

Amin said that nearly all of those arrested were southerners, despite the fact that the outpouring of anger that followed Garang’s death in a helicopter crash last Saturday sparked retaliatory attacks by northerners.

But he said his group had no firm evidence to back up complaints by southerners that they were targeted solely because they were southern.

"In situations such as this, it’s possible that there were arbitrary arrests," he said.

Some 110 people died in the capital alone in the three days of disturbances that followed Garang’s death.

Leader of the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement, Garang died less than a month after being sworn in as first vice president under a landmark January peace deal that ended two decades of civil war in the south.

(AFP/Sudan Tribune)

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