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Sudanese in London demonstrate in support of Khartoum protests

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By Tom Law

September 5, 2013 (LONDON) - Over 50 members of the Sudanese diaspora protested outside the Sudanese Embassy in London on Friday in solidarity with anti-government protests that have left over 200 dead, according to Amnesty International.

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Woman holds a picture of the protests in Khartoum, while demonstrating outside the Sudanese Embassy in London. Oct. 4, 2013 (Photo: Izzeldin Taha)

The protests were triggered by the withdrawal of subsidies from fuel and other commodities but swiftly morphed into expressions of more general antipathy against the ruling National Congress Party.

Demonstrators asked that the United Kingdom’s foreign office stop all trade with Sudan due to its corruption and violence against its own people.

The government has put the number of those who have died in the unrest at 34 and has disputed allegations from human rights groups, witnesses and activists that the Sudanese police fired live rounds at protestors.

Those protesting in London asked that the British government demand that human rights violations are addressed. When officials from the embassy left towards the end of the day, chants were directed at them calling for top NCP officials, such as vice president Ali Osman Taha and presidential aid Nafie Ali Nafie, to be tried at the International Criminal Court.

Neither has been indicted by the ICC but protestors also called for president Bashir, who is wanted to war crimes in Darfur by the Hague-based court, to leave power and face justice at the international court.

Most of Sudan’s main opposition groups were represented at the demonstration.

On Saturday a fundraising event is being held in London to raise money for activists operating in Sudan, in order for them to buy smart phones for citizen journalist to record videos and photographs and post them directly online.

The organisers also hope to be able to pay for first aid equipment for those injured so that they do not have to visit state-run hospitals, where they say they are at risk of being arrested by the security services.

In the United States there are plans to hold protests in New York, Philadelphia and Washington. The demonstration is the US capital is expected to culminate in a march to the Sudan Embassy.

(ST)

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