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Sudan says 2430 protesters released as opposition calls for mass rally

A Sudanese protester continues to raise the national flag after his arrest by security agents in Khartoum on 7 February 2019 (ST Photo)
February 20, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Sudanese government on Wednesday said it has released 2430 protesters as the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) has called for a mass rally on Thursday in Khartoum.

In press statements Tuesday, Sudan’s Interior Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said the police will act resolutely against anyone who seeks to destabilize security and threatens lives and property of the people.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony of police officers, Osman said the demonstrations erupted for legitimate demands but invisible hands had changed its course.

Meanwhile, the semi-official Sudan Media Center (SMC) has quoted sources at the judiciary as saying 2430 out of 2650 protesters have been released so far.

The same sources said legal actions have been taken against some protesters, pointing out that security services sought to release students and women immediately.

It added strong evidence showed that a third party has carried out the killings during the protests, saying some protesters have been killed by weapons that are not in the possession of the regular forces.

On the other hand, the SPA, an umbrella organization of trade unions spearheading the demonstrations, has called on the Sudanese to take part in a mass rally Khartoum on Thursday.

It pointed out that the rally would march from downtown Khartoum towards the Presidential Palace to demand President Omer al-Bashir to step down.

The SPA renewed commitment to peaceful protests saying the rally would be led by opposition leaders.

Sudanese continue to organise daily protests including demonstrations, sit-ins and meetings despite the brutal crackdown by the police, security forces and militiamen of the ruling National Congress Party.

Since December 2019, some 31 people were killed across the country according to the Sudanese authorities but activists and rights groups say the death toll is over 50 people.