Sudan starts trial of agents linked to teacher death: lawyer

A banner bearing the portrait of Sudanese teacher Ahmed Al-Kheir, who died from wounds suffered in detention during Bashir’s regime, hangs on a tent outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum. (File/AFP)
Updated 28 August 2019

Sudan starts trial of agents linked to teacher death: lawyer

  • Al-Kheir, 36, died in prison after his arrest in January
  • Days after his arrest, his family was told to collect his body from a local mortuary

OMDOURMAN, Sudan: Sudan began the trial on Wednesday of 41 security agents accused of involvement in the death of a teacher held in custody, a lawyer said.
Ahmed Al-Kheir, 36, died in prison after his arrest in January by members of the feared National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), used by now-ousted veteran leader Omar Al-Bashir to crush dissent.
Kheir was detained in his village of Khashm El-Girba, in the eastern province of Kassala, on allegations of organizing anti-Bashir protests.
Days after his arrest, Kheir’s family was told to collect his body from a local mortuary.
His death fueled protests against Bashir who was toppled in April after months of mass rallies against his iron-fisted rule.
“Trial proceedings for the 41 NISS agents started,” said lawyer Adel Abdelghani, adding that the case involves officers and other ranks.
“They are accused of subjecting the deceased Ahmed Al-Kheir to torture which led to his death,” he said.
The next trial will be held on September 3, according to an AFP correspondent who attended the session.
Under Bashir, the NISS oversaw repeated crackdowns on government opponents and the media, and launched a severe crackdown on the countrywide protests that erupted in December.
In July, the agency was renamed the General Intelligence Services.
Sudan has since embarked on a transition to civilian rule following a deal signed this month between protest leaders and the generals who seized power after Bashir’s ouster.
On August 21, the country swore in a joint civilian-military ruling body and a prime minister as part of the roadmap to guide the country through a three-year transitional period.
Bashir himself is now jailed at the maximum-security Kober prison in Khartoum, where thousands of political prisoners were held during his 30-years in power.
The former president is being tried over a raft of corruption charges.


Supreme leader backs government on gas price hikes

Updated 17 November 2019

Supreme leader backs government on gas price hikes

  • The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were reported by the state TV on Sunday

DUBAI: Iranian state TV says the country’s supreme leader supports the government’s decision to increase gasoline prices and calls those setting fire to public property “bandits” backed by the enemies of Iran.

The comments by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei were reported by the state TV on Sunday, a day after protesters angered by Iran raising government-set gasoline prices by 50 percent had blocked traffic in major cities and occasionally clashed with police.

That came after a night of demonstrations punctuated by gunfire, in violence that reportedly killed at least one person.