December 30, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - A Sudanese court handed death sentences to 29 members of the security service on Monday for their role in the torture and murder of a political detainee during the popular uprising against the former regime.
- Ahmed Khair
Ahmed Khair, a school teacher in Kassala, in eastern Sudan was detained on 31 January and died two days later while in detention last February. His case was a symbol of the crackdown and violence practised by the former regime against peaceful protesters.
While hundreds of people gathered outside the court waving flags with the pictures of the slain in their hands, the Omdurman court found the intelligence officers guilty of deadly abuse against Ahmad al-Khair, who was beaten and tortured to death in detention.
"According to what has been proven to the court, the twenty-nine defendants have been convicted under Articles 21 (criminal participation) and 130 (willful killing) of the Sudanese criminal law, and it has been decided that they are sentenced to death by hanging," said Judge al-Sadiq Abdel-Rahman.
In line with Islamic law, the judge further asked Khair’s family if they want to forgive the defendants, but his brother Saad who was present at the court declined the pardon.
"We want retribution," Saad said as tears filled his eyes.
Speaking to reporters outside the court, he hailed the verdict saying it was a day of "victory for the revolution".
The justice for the crimes committed by the security services against the civilians during the four-month protests remains a hot issue in the country one year after the start of the revolution.
The Sudanese Professionals Association, which spearheaded the protests welcomed the rule saying it resorted confidence in the judiciary and that the families of the martyrs should be reassured as the day of justice is approaching.
The SPA was alluding to the protesters killed on 3 June by the security forces as the government is awaiting the findings of an independent investigation committee.