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Sudanese security arrests politicians, journalists after calls for large sit-ins

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Demonstrators in the streets of Khartoum North on 13 January 2019 -(ST photo)

January 26, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese security on Saturday has arrested several politicians and journalists hours after the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) announced the launch of large sit-ins in a number of squares in Khartoum on Sunday.

Opposition sources told Sudan Tribune that security agents on Saturday afternoon have arrested the spokesperson of the Arab Ba’ath Party Mohamed Diaa al-Din from his home in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman.

Earlier this month, Diaa al-Din was arrested a day after he returned to Sudan from Thailand where he underwent surgery and released last week for health reasons.

Meanwhile, activists said the security forces on Saturday evening have arrested a number of journalists working for Al-Midan, a mouthpiece of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) from the party’s headquarters in Khartoum.

They pointed out that the among the detainees was Chief-Editor of Al-Midan Iman Osman besides a number of journalists including Musab Mohamed Ali, Osman Qutbi Abdel-Rahman and Awad al-Karim Mohamed al-Tahir.

Also, three members of the SCP’s Central Committee have been detained including Faiza Nugud, Hassan Osman and Osama Hassan.

On the other hand, an umbrella organization of independent professional unions spearheading the anti-government protests that have rocked the country for five weeks, the SPA said it would organize 23 sit-ins at major squares in Khartoum Sunday.

In a statement on Saturday, the SPA said the sit-ins would be carried out in Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North at 3:00 pm (local time) on Sunday.

It called upon the Sudanese to join the sit-ins, saying the move is a crucial part of the ongoing efforts to overthrow the regime of President Omer al-Bashir.

Large protests have been ongoing across Sudanese cities since 19 December. The demonstrations first began over fuel shortages and a hike in food prices but have now morphed into full-fledged protests calling for President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

The Sudanese government has confirmed the deaths of 29 people in the course of the protests but other credible reports including from Amnesty International suggest the death toll is nearly twice as high.

Also, dozens of protesters were injured by tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition while hundreds have been detained.

(ST)