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Sudanese court clears students of riot charges

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October 18, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – A Sudanese court Tuesday acquitted several university students and human rights activists accused by the security service of disturbing the peace and tranquillity.

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Families of detained students sit in outside the Khartoum University Vice Chancellor’s office on 25 May 2016 (ST Photo)

The students and human rights activists were detained by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) last May while organizing a protest outside the Ministry of Justice in Khartoum demanding release of detained university students.

In April 2016, the security service arrested dozens of students from the University of Khartoum who organized protests over unconfirmed reports about the sale of the university historical premises in central Khartoum.

The Judge of Khartoum North Criminal Court, Abdel-Hafiz Ali Hassan, decided on Tuesday to acquit eight students and activists affiliated to Sudanese Movement for Change of charges relating to disturbing the public peace.

The court ordered their immediate release as the students denied had engaged any unlawful riot or closing the street as it was claimed by the security agents. They explained that they had organized a peaceful sit-in in front of the Justice Ministry and intended only to hand a memo over the minister denouncing the human rights violations.

The complainant, who is one of NISS members, told the court the defendants are affiliated to an opposition group and caused public nuisance and breach of safety when they gathered outside the ministry.

At the time, the Sudanese authorities denied the press reports about the sale of the university buildings and accused the opposition of seeking to destabilize the constitutional order and to create troubles in the country .

(ST)

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