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Darfuris accused of beheading editor to be hanged

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November 11, 2007 (KHARTOUM) — Ten Darfuris convicted of beheading a Sudanese journalist have been sentenced to death by hanging, state media said on Sunday, contradicting an earlier account by their lawyer that they would be shot.

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Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed

Kamal Omer, the lawyer for the 10 defendants aged between 16 and their mid-forties, had told Reuters on Saturday the sentence was death by firing squad, a ruling he said was illegal unless issued by a military court.

On Sunday he said he was trying to find the written judgment to check.

Most journalists were not allowed to enter the court on Saturday, which was surrounded by heavy security.

"The criminal court in Khartoum North presided over by Judge Osama Osman issued a judgment of death by hanging for all 10 accused in the case of the murder of journalist Mohamed Taha," the state-owned Sudanese Media Centre said.

The beheading of al-Wifaq editor Taha last year shocked Sudan’s media. Taha, himself an Islamist, had angered other Islamists by reprinting articles questioning the roots of the Prophet Mohammed.

Authorities also said he had provoked Darfuris with unflattering articles about Darfuri women. All the accused were from the Darfuri Fur tribe.

(Reuters)

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