Sudan: 29 officers sentenced to death for killing teacher

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A Sudanese court has sentenced 29 intelligence officers to death for the torture and killing of a teacher.

Ahmad al-Khair, 36, died in custody in February following his arrest for taking part in protests against then President Omar al-Bashir’s government.

These are the first sentences handed down over the crackdown on pro-democracy activists in the months before Bashir was toppled in April.

The prosecution said the death sentences were a just punishment.

After the sentencing, the judge asked al-Khair’s brother, Sa’d, whether he wanted the 29 men to be pardoned – but he said he wanted them to be executed instead.

A lawyer for the defence said he would appeal.

The court found that Ahmad Al-Khair was beaten and tortured to death by the officers at a detention centre in the eastern state of Kassala.

Under the former President Bashir, Sudan enforced the death penalty, and two people were executed in 2018.

Ahmad Al-Khair’s case drew widespread attention in Sudan, and his killing fuelled the protests against the 75-year-old Bashir.

The teacher’s death galvanised the protest movement to demand change.
At least 170 people were killed during the months-long crackdown against the protest movement. Bashir was eventually overthrown by the military, 30 years after he took power in a coup.

Earlier this month, he was sentenced to two years for corruption. The court ruled that he should serve the sentence in a correctional facility, as he was too old to be in prison.

Titi

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