Sudan

Sudanese paramilitary officer sentenced to death for killing demonstrator

'Freedom, Peace, and Justice'-- a slogan of Sudan's revolution, painted for an exhibition in Khartoum dedicated to art from the uprising.
'Freedom, Peace, and Justice'-- a slogan of Sudan's revolution, painted for an exhibition in Khartoum dedicated to art from the uprising. © RFI/Laura-Angela Bagnetto

An officer with Sudan’s paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who was charged with killing a protester during the breakup of the 2019 sit-in in Khartoum has been sentenced to death.

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Major Youssef Mohieldin al-Fiky was found guilty of ramming Hanafy Abdel-Shakour, 22, with his car in June 2019 during the breakup of the protest in front of the army headquarters.

More than 120 people were killed during the violent dispersal of the protesters, although human rights groups indicate that the numbers are higher.

The sentence was handed down on Monday.

The sit-in was held two months after the military deposed President Omar al-Bashir, who had ruled the country for 30 years.

The RSF came from the paramilitary forces called the Janjaweed, who are accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur under Bashir’s orders. The group has been absorbed into the Sudanese military.

According to state SUNA news agency, the trial started in July 2020 in Khartoum’s Judicial and Legal Science Institute, more than one year after the murder.

While protesters had repeatedly called for an international, independent investigation into the deaths and disappearances during the sit-in breakup, a panel assigned to the probe after the African Union-brokered agreement in 2019 has frequently missed its deadlines.

In 2019, a military prosecutor said that eight officers were to blame for the crackdown, charging them with crimes against humanity. But no trial or even detail on their possible detention has been revealed.

The verdict can be appealed in a higher court.

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