KHARTOUM: A Sudanese judge yesterday threw out charges against 19 people who were among hundreds rounded up after deadly protests sparked by fuel price hikes, a lawyer said. The judge said he found “no evidence against them”, one of their lawyers, Mutasim Al Haj, said.
They were among 35 people who appeared in Khartoum’s Haj Yousef district to face charges of vandalism and causing a disturbance.
Trials are to continue for the other 16 with defence testimony today, Haj said.
One police pickup truck was the only noticeable security presence outside the colonnaded, glass-fronted court building which lies opposite mud-brick homes on an unpaved road of red dirt in the impoverished district.
The 35 first appeared in court last Thursday, when Haj told AFP that none of the accused was arrested during the alleged vandalism or demonstrations.
They faced up to seven years in prison if found guilty, he said.
Sudan’s government says it has detained about 700 “criminals” after the late-September protests.
The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies, a human rights watchdog, said on Saturday that more than 800 people have been arrested throughout the country by police and the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). Prisoners included political activists, opposition party members and human rights defenders, the watchdog said, adding the exact number of detentions is unknown.AFP