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Netherlands expresses concern over Sudan’s emergency law

SCoP leader Omer al-Digair receives Amb Karin Boven of Netherlands on 10 March 2019 (Photo Dutch Embassy)
March 10, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The Netherlands Ambassador to Khartoum, Karin Boven, on Sunday has expressed concern over subjecting protesters to the emergency law.

On Sunday, Boven visited the leader of the opposition Sudan Congress Party (SCoP) Omer al-Digair who has been released from prison last week after spending 67 days in jail without charges.

She expressed concern over trying the demonstrators under the emergency law, stressing her country’s keenness about the human rights situation in Sudan.

For his part, al-Digair held the regime responsible for the severe crisis in Sudan.

He said the regime has no option but to hand over power to a transitional government to run the country collectively in order to address the economic crisis and achieve peace and democratic transformation.

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 al-Bashir to step down.

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.

President Omer al-Bashir on 22 February declared a one-year state of emergency and dissolved the federal and states governments appointing 18 militaries as governors of the states.

Dozens of protesters have been tried under the emergency including the deputy chairman of the National Umma Party (NUP) Mariam al-Mahdi who was sentenced to one week in prison.

Also, nine young women have been sentenced to one month in prison and 20 lashes for their participation in anti-government protests.

(ST)