October 6, 2013 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese authorities on Sunday released six female activists who were arrested during the recent protests that broke out in the country following the government’s decision to cut fuel subsidies.
- FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 file photo, a man on a donkey cart passes burned buses following rioting and unrest in Khartoum (AP Photo/Abd Raouf)
This included Amal Habbani, Dahlia al Roubi, Ryan Zein El-Abdeen Shaker, Ihsan Abdulaziz , Ethar Nasreldeen and Amal Suleiman who were freed after days of detention.
This came at the instructions of Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir who ordered that all females detained in connection with the protests to be set free with the exception of those facing criminal charges.
In a related issue, a Khartoum court today acquitted 19 people who were accused of participating in the recent protests. It also formally charged 35 others charges so that they can stand trial.
This included three women accused of inciting protestors by ululating in a sign of support.
A lawyer by the name of Muatassim al-Haj told Netherlands-based Radio Dabanga that the court charged the 35 defendants under three articles of the law. He added that they were arrested on the second day of demonstrations.
This week the United Nations Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, Mashood Adebayo Baderin issued a statement expressing concern "at the large number of arrests and detentions by the authorities".
“I urge the Government of the Sudan to charge all those arrested with a recognizable offence or immediately release them,” Baderin said. “Furthermore, the Government must allow the detainees access to their families, legal representation and medical care.”
“I strongly condemn the use of violence against peaceful demonstrators and the destruction of public property during demonstrations. I urge both the Government and the demonstrators to completely refrain from resorting to violence,” he said.
The Sudanese government has recently rolled out an economic package that triggered some of the worst protests Sudan has seen in years with death toll surpassing 200 according to Amnesty International.
Sudanese authorities say they have arrested 700 people in connection with the riots, but denied using live ammunition against protesters, accusing outside elements of firing at demonstrators.