Most detained protesters released in Sudan

328377_Sudanese courtThe Sudanese government has freed most of protesters detained during demonstrations against the lifting of fuel subsidies in late September.

Culture and Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman made the announcement on Tuesday, adding that more detainees were expected to be released on Wednesday, AFP reported.

“Starting from yesterday anyone who has not actually committed any sort of crime or destruction or killing has been released,” Osman said.

Protests began in the country on September 23 when the government lifted fuel subsidies to raise revenue.

The government announced last week that 700 protesters had been arrested during the protests.

“Everybody that committed a crime will go to court… If there is no case against him he will be released,” said the Sudanese minister, adding that around 200 were expected to face trial.

He also stated that among those detained there might be some nationals from the neighboring countries.

Two or three police officers and more than three members of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) were killed in the protests, Osman added.

On Sunday, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir ordered several female detainees be released.

Trials for some of the accused have already begun and continued on Tuesday. Out of 35 people, who faced trial on charges of vandalism and causing a disturbance, 19 have been acquitted for lack of evidence.

Sudan lost billions of dollars in oil revenues after South Sudan gained independence two years ago, taking with it some 75 percent of crude production of the formerly united country.

Sudan has been plagued by running inflation and a weakening currency since then.

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