Thousand protest in Sudan's Kassala as death toll mounts


CAIRO (AP) — Thousands of residents poured out onto the streets of Sudan’s eastern province of Kassala to denounce the death of a protester last week following demonstrations calling for the president’s ouster, officials and activists said.

The protester, Ahmed al-Khair, was a 33-year-old school teacher who was detained last Thursday and pronounced dead in custody on Friday evening. Protests have gripped Sudan since Dec. 19, starting initially over rising prices and shortages but quickly shifting to calls for the fall of autocratic President Omar al-Bashir. Activists said al-Khair’s death raises the toll of the protests to 53. An estimated 2,000 protesters have also since been wounded, many shot in the eye with birdshot and some losing limbs from live ammunition, according to the activists, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

The government’s latest tally stands at 30 killed and about 400 wounded, but these figures have not been updated in days. The authorities refused to provide a cause of death to al-Khair’s family, but his body, including his groin area, was covered in bruises, a relative of his said. There were also signs of rectal bleeding, according to a second relative, who said that the family intends to file charges against the police. They also spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

Al-Khair’s funeral quickly turned into a protest, with thousands chanting: “We are all Ahmed!” and “just fall,” the slogan and Twitter hashtag of the Dec. 19 demonstrations.

Kassala’s police chief denied any police wrongdoing and blamed al-Khair’s death on an “illness,” without providing any details. The family, he said, attended an autopsy and “is completely sure that he was not touched or subjected to torture.”

Satanic 'Pride' Creator Now Furious at Target, Reveals Which Retailer Is Now Helping Her

There are an additional 33 night protests planned for Saturday night across Sudan, according to online activists.

The country’s intelligence and security officials, along with Bashir, insist that the rallies are the work of what they describe as “evil” foreign powers, and have vowed to stop them.

The real figure for the wounded may be significantly higher because many of them avoid going to hospitals for fear of arrest, according to rights lawyers, also speaking anonymously for the same reasons. The authorities have pressed criminal charges against about 70 doctors across the country for sympathizing with the protests and going on strike, they added.

Earlier in the week, a foreign correspondent with the UK’s Channel 4 News posted on Twitter that she had fled the capital, Khartoum, after she was threatened with criminal prosecution. She said she was working on an investigation into the violence and sexual harassment experienced by detained female protesters in custody.

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands. Photo credit: @AP on Twitter
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
New York City