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Sudanese prosecutor demand death for editor of suspended newspaper

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KHARTOUM, May 5, 2005 (Sudan Tribune) — The general prosecutor demanded that the chief editor should face the death penalty in accordance with the Sudanese law, the independent al-Mashaheer said.

A banner carried by the outraged crowd as they chanted "death to the apostate" during a demonstration against a Sudanese newspaper editor over an article allegedly questioning the parentage of the Prophet Mohamed. (Sudanile).

A member of the prosecution team Musa Mohamed Ali said that the article is considered to be a violation of the criminal law which punishes anyone who insults religion or faith. Apostates face the death penalty under Islamic law, which was implemented in Sudan since 1983.

Judiciary sources pointed out that the journalist refused to be represented by a lawyer and said that he would represent himself.

A large angry crowd thronged in front of a criminal court north of Khartoum yesterday morning to follow court proceedings against the Chief Editor of Al-Wifaq’s newspaper, Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmad.

Mohamed Taha — who is a prominent Islamist journalist, former member of the National Islamic Front, and has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood political group — is charged with publishing an article on 21 April 2005 that cast doubt on the parentage of Prophet Mohamed and also defamed one of his companions, Omar Bin al-Aas.

The protesters chanting God is great also held banners demanding that the Islamic punishment for apostate, death penalty, should be implemented against the chief editor.

Security authorities decided to bar the crowd from following the proceedings a decision which angered them. The crowd then confronted the police, who were in turn forced to use batons and tear gas canisters to break up the crowd leading to the injury of one protester who was later taken to Khartoum Hospital for treatment.

The judge decided to postpone the hearing till tomorrow, Thursday 5 May so that the court can study the documents which were presented by the lawyers of the applicant.

The general prosecutor demanded that the chief editor should face the death penalty in accordance with the Sudanese law.

A member of the prosecution team Musa Mohamed Ali said that the article is considered to be a violation of the criminal law which punishes anyone who insults religion or faith. Apostates face the death penalty under Islamic law, which was implemented in Sudan since 1983.

Judiciary sources pointed out that the journalist refused to be represented by a lawyer and said that he would represent himself.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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