Outraged by the death of a protester who had been injured during an anti-government rally in Sudan last week, hundreds of people have poured out into the streets of the country’s second-largest city Omdurman, witnesses say.
The demonstrators gathered late on Monday as the body of the protester was taken out of the hospital where he died for a funeral.
“People are chanting ‘Freedom, freedom!” and ‘Overthrow, overthrow!’ as they gathered for the funeral of the protester,” a witness told AFP.
A doctors’ committee linked to the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which is spearheading the recent protests in Sudan, said in a statement on Monday that the protester “was wounded on Thursday, but today he died in hospital.” A friend of the victim said the protester had been injured in Khartoum’s Burri neighborhood, which witnessed clashes between security forces and demonstrators on Thursday.
Police have confirmed that two people, including a doctor, were killed during the Burri clashes on Thursday.
Also on Monday, some 150 doctors held a silent sit-in outside the Khartoum hospital where the slain doctor used to work to protest his murder, carrying placards that read “Killing a doctor means killing a nation.”
The UK-based rights group Amnesty International has also censured the murder of the doctor.
Sarah Jackson, Amnesty’s deputy director for East Africa, said it was an “outrage that Sudanese security forces continue to use lethal force on protesters and key service providers like doctors.”
President Omar al-Bashir, however, rejected the accusation, saying at a rally on Sunday that the physician had been “killed by someone from among the demonstrators.”
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has rejected calls for his resignation and says ongoing protests will not lead to a change in the government.
Fresh protests are expected on Tuesday as the SPA has called for night-time demonstrations in Khartoum and Omdurman. The group has also announced that rallies have been organized for Thursday “across all towns and cities of Sudan.”
Sudan has been gripped by mass protests triggered by rising prices and shortages of food and fuel since December last year. The public display of anger have now escalated into calls for Bashir to step down.
According to official figures, 26 people, including two security agents, have lost their lives since the onset of the unrest. However, some rights groups say at least 40 people have died so far.
Scores of arrests were also reported at many of the protests held in the past month.
Sudanese forces abuse, shave heads of protesters: Report
Meanwhile, a report published by the Middle East Eye (MEE) news website says security forces in Sudan cut the hair of protesters taking part in protests and that “locks of hair shorn from the heads of men and women have become a common sight on the streets of Sudan in the past month.”
Abul Wahab Ahmed, 19, told MEE that he was one of those arrested at a protest rally in southern Khartoum, adding, “They beat me and many other protesters and then they shaved my head in a really humiliating and barbaric way.”
“They released me after two hours of detention in their vehicles, dropping me off in the main streets of al-Kalakla where I live,” he added.
Security forces cut the hair of caught female protesters yesterday. Their braids are now scattered across the neighborhood streets of Burri, Khartoum.
Photos sent to me by a resident. pic.twitter.com/RKFfCkmTfM
— Yousra Elbagir (@YousraElbagir) January 18, 2019
Images of braids cut off and scattered on roads in Khartoum published last week have drawn attention to how women are being treated by security forces.
Thirty five-year-old Sara Daif Allah said she had been arrested in downtown Khartoum alongside 14 other female activists who were only freed after hours of being beaten and threatened.
“That was a bad experience for me and other colleagues; I was beaten and the security personnel intentionally harassed and abused the female protesters,” Sara said, adding she believed women were being targeted so that they are intimidated and discouraged from joining the protests.
The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies also raised suspicions about the circumstances of some of the deaths that happened in custody.
“Abdul Rahman Alsadiq Mohamed Alamin, an art student at the University of Khartoum, was found in the Nile River. It appeared that he had drowned. His family refused to receive his body until an autopsy was done. It is reported that his body showed clear signs of having been tortured or subjected to ill-treatment,” the center said in a statement, referring to one protester.