Sudanese on the streets, call for new judicial appointments

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A woman waves a Sudanese national flag during a demonstration near the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum on September 12, 2019. (AFP)
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A man flashes the victory gesture while waving a Sudanese national flag during a mass demonstration near the presidential palace in the capital Khartoum on September 12, 2019, calling for the appointment of a new permanent chief of judiciary and prosecutor general. (AFP)
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Women chant slogans as they gather during a mass demonstration near the presidential palace in Sudan's capital Khartoum on September 12, 2019, calling for the appointment of a new permanent chief of judiciary and prosecutor general. (AFP)
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A Sudanese demonstrator waves his hands as he stands on the hood of a security forces' vehicle, urging others not to cross the security barrier, during a protest near the presidential palace in Sudan's capital Khartoum on September 12, 2019, calling for the appointment of a new permanent chief of judiciary and prosecutor general. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2019

Sudanese on the streets, call for new judicial appointments

  • Sudan's Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change called for a march to pressure the joint civilian-military Sovereign Council to appoint judges known for their competence as well as political impartiality
  • The Sovereign Council is expected to rule the country along with a cabinet and a legislative body for a little more than three years

CAIRO: Thousands of Sudanese rallied in the capital Khartoum on Thursday in the largest protest since the country's transitional government was announced, demanding the chief of the judiciary and general prosecutor be removed because of alleged ties to ousted autocratic former president Omar Al-Bashir.
Sudan's Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, the umbrella coalition representing different pro-democracy parties and groups, called for a "million-man march" to pressure the joint civilian-military Sovereign Council — formed last month as part of a power-sharing deal between protesters and the generals — to appoint judges known for their competence as well as political impartiality.
The generals had previously dismissed nominations put forward by pro-democracy protesters for Sudan's two top judicial posts.
"Judicial and legal reforms should be a top priority during the transitional period; however, we have seen inaction on the part of sovereign council to appoint a new head of the judiciary and a new general prosecutor," Ahmed Rabie, a leader of the Sudanese Professionals' Association, said. The group has spearheaded protests since Al-Bashir was still in power.
The Sovereign Council, comprised of five military members and six civilians, is expected to rule the country along with a cabinet and a legislative body for a little more than three years. Last week, prime minister Abdalla Hamdok, a longtime economist, announced the make-up of his cabinet after several weeks of deliberations.
The announcement of transitional state institutions came following pressure from the United States and its Arab allies amid growing concerns the political crisis could ignite a civil war.
"The Sudanese revolution does not only aim at changing a president or bringing in new ministers but it aims at restructuring the Sudanese state," said Rabie. "Hence, it is illogical to have officials belonging to the ancient regime on top of the state's civil and judicial apparatuses."
Both incumbent judiciary chief and public prosecutor were appointed by the military council, which took over the helm of state after ousting Al-Bashir in April. Under the terms of the power-sharing deal, the military council was dissolved and replaced by the Sovereign Council.
"This rally is an important step toward the restructuring of the judicial system so that we can embark on a period of transitional justice where leaders of the old regime as well as those responsible for the massacre of protesters after Bashir's ouster could be prosecuted," said Rasha Awad, editor of the online Sudanese newspaper Altaghyeer.
The power-sharing agreement capped several months of negotiations and tension between the generals and protester movement. In early June, talks were suspended after a deadly military clampdown on the protesters' main sit-in in the capital left more than a hundred killed. The attack had remained a thorny issue even after both parties resumed talks.
In Thursday's rallies, protesters waving Sudanese flags chanted: "The people want the martyr to be avenged," in reference to those killed during the crackdown. They also raised banners reading: "The appointment of new judiciary chief and public prosecutor is a revolutionary demand."
Awad noted that the generals had previously dismissed nominations put forward by pro-democracy protesters for the nation's two top judicial posts.
"These rallies are basically addressing the military members inside the sovereign council because those members do not share the same views as Sudanese revolutionaries," she said.


Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

Updated 18 November 2019

Iran condemns US show of support for ‘rioters’

  • Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter
  • ‘The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy’

TEHRAN: Iran condemned the United States’ support for “rioters” in a statement issued late Sunday, after two days of violent protests in the Islamic republic against a petrol price hike.
The foreign ministry said that it was reacting to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s “expression of support... for a group of rioters in some cities of Iran and condemned such support and interventionist remarks.”
Protests erupted in Iran on Friday, hours after it was announced the price of petrol would rise to 15,000 rials a liter (12 US cents) from 10,000 for the first 60 liters and to 30,000 rials for any extra fuel bought after that each month.
In a tweet on Saturday, Pompeo said in response to the demonstrations that “the United States is with you.”
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi slammed his comments in Sunday night’s statement.
“The dignified people of Iran know well that such hypocritical remarks do not carry any honest sympathy,” Mousavi was quoted as saying.
“The acts of a rioter and saboteur group supported by the likes of (Pompeo) have no congruity with the conduct of the wise Iranian people.”
The statement blasted Washington’s “ill-intent” over its decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran after the US withdrawal in May last year from the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
“It’s curious that the sympathizing is being done with the people who are under the pressure of America’s economic terrorism,” Mousavi said.

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