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Sudan emergency courts continue to try demonstrators

March 3, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The emergency courts established by President Omer al-Bashir have continued to impose various sentences of imprisonment and fines on people who participated in anti-government protests.

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A special judge sits in court in Nyala during the trial of six Sudanese men accused of belonging to the Janjaweed, 30 September 2004 (Reuters)

The Democratic Lawyers Alliance, a member of the Sudanese Professional Association, said 870 protesters were produced in emergency courts in Khartoum and Omdurman following a number of protests across the Sudanese capital last Thursday.

An emergency court in Khartoum-North on Sunday sentenced to jail for four months seven demonstrators arrested last Thursday and ordered the release of five others acquitted for lack of evidence against them.

Also, the Khartoum Criminal Court acquitted a number of demonstrators on Saturday, while others were convicted in the court of Kalakala district of a fine of 1,000 pounds.

The Sudan Doctors Syndicate said that one of its members was sentenced Thursday to three years in jail.

In a statement on Sunday, the Syndicate, which sends medical teams to treat wounded protesters, said that Mohamed Abdel Karim Mohamed a teaching assistant at Al-Azhari University has been sentenced to jail by the emergency court and transferred to Al-Huda prison in Omdurman.

In western Kordofan state, all detainees have been released in recent protests in the state.

The State Government Secretary Abdel Moneim Fadl al-Mawla said in a press release that the 11 detainees arrested during the protests had been released.

For its part, the government of North Kordofan state announced the release of 25 demonstrators who have been prosecuted under the emergency law since the end of last year.

North Kordofan has been under emergency law since mid-2018 and extended in January.

The governor of North Kordofan, Major General al-Marredi al-Siddiq al-Marredi, according to the official Sudan News Agency, said that the release of prisoners comes as a prelude "to serious dialogue with young people".

He further said that this step will be followed by similar steps to free the rest of the prisoners provided there are sufficient guarantees they would not "call to sabotage" again, according to SUNA.

On 22 February, Sudanese President imposed the state of emergency for one year banning all unauthorized rallies but also given sweeping powers to security forces to quell the nationwide protests. Also, he ordered to establish emergency courts.

Immediately after the protests of Thursday, the exceptional courts issued sentences against 59 protesters to prison sentences ranging from two months to seven years, including 17 defendants in the Khartoum North, 22 in Omdurman and 20 in Khartoum.

(ST)