May 27, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudanese police in the River Nile state capital, al-Damer, clashed with angry protestors on Tuesday who took to the streets to demand the release of the National Umma Party (NUP) leader, al-Sadiq al-Mahdi.
- Sudanese police firing teargas at demonstrators (AFP)
Eyewitnesses said the leadership of the NUP and its religious wing, Ansar sect besides opposition parties in the state staged a demonstration to hand over the state’s government a memorandum protesting arrest of al-Mahdi.
They said that the police dispersed the crowd near the government headquarters using teargas and rubber bullets, affirming that several injured protesters have been taken to al-Damer public hospital.
According to well placed sources, the federal government has directed all states’ governors not to allow any protests against the arrest of al-Mahdi.
The NUP chairman in the Nahr al-Neel state, Taha Ahmed Saad, said in statements that the demonstration tested the government’s claims regarding public freedoms, underscoring that the latter failed the test.
Al-Mahdi was arrested on 17 May, days after he was called for questioning by state prosecutors over statements he made accusing the Sudan’s paramilitary unit known as the Rapid Support Force (RSF) of committing abuses against civilians in Darfur and Kordofan regions.
The head of the state security prosecution office issued a decision on Monday banning the press from reporting on the case of the jailed leader.
Meanwhile, the police also dispersed a peaceful demonstration organised by the Sudanese Congress Party (SCP) at the locality of Saudari in North Kordofan state to protest the current situation in the locality.
Local authorities presented the demonstration organisers to immediate trials charging them with public nuisance. Several organisers were sentenced to terms ranging between four and six months of imprisonment, including the SCP chairman in the locality, Mohamed Nur besides the secretary-general of the party.
Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that police on Tuesday used teargas to disperse a peaceful demonstration organised by the SCP to denounce the mining companies for seizing the gold waste and preventing local residence from using it.
SCP chairman Mohamed Nur said from prison that the court sentence were politically motivated, underscoring legitimacy of their demands for providing the basic services in the locality.