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News and Press Releases1 person dead and 7 critically injured after Sudanese forces open fire on Uni.of Khartoum students

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1 person dead and 7 critically injured after Sudanese forces open fire on Uni.of Khartoum students

03-13-2014, 03:20 AM
african centre for justice
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1 person dead and 7 critically injured after Sudanese forces open fire on Uni.of Khartoum students

    One person dead and 7 critically injured after Sudanese forces open fire on University of Khartoum students
    (12 March 2014) One student has died from gunshot wounds and at least seven are reportedly critically injured after Sudanese security services opened live fire during a peaceful demonstration at the University of Khartoum on 11 March 2014.

    The incidents happened immediately after the conclusion of a public forum organised by the Darfur Students’ Association at the University of Khartoum that day. The public forum concerned the escalating violence in South Darfur since late February and increased insecurity in Darfur’s cities, and recommended that the Government of Sudan (GoS) protect Darfur’s civilians and disarm all militia groups operational in Darfur.

    After the conclusion of the forum, the students marched to the main University gate. When they reached the main gate, they were met by joint forces comprised of the police, National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and student militias. The joint forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets, and live ammunition on the students.

    One student in the Faculty of Economics, Ali Abakar Musa, (m.), was shot and rushed to the hospital. He died two hours later. A medical report obtained by ACJPS stated that he had been shot by live ammunition in the chest. The police have since issued a statement denying responsibility for the death of Mr. Musa.

    Seven students were also seriously injured after being beaten with batons and shot at with rubber bullets. Three of the known injured students are:

    Mohamed Ali Adam, (m.). Mr. Adam was hit in the head by a police baton.
    Najlaa Al Tayeeb, (f.). It is not known how Ms. Al Tayeeb obtained her injuries.
    Mohamed Ishaq Abdalla, (m.). Mr. Abdalla was shot with a rubber bullet in the thigh.
    The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) condemns the excessive use of force by the joint forces, and calls on the GoS to:

    Order a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the incidents at the University of Khartoum on 11 March, and ensure that the findings are published within a clear timeframe and that perpetrators are held accountable for abuses;
    Unequivocally and publicly condemn the excessive use of force by the police and NISS;
    Protect the victims of these recent incidents from further violence or reprisals and ensure they have access to appropriate medical services.
    Background

    ACJPS has documented several cases of excessive use of force by Sudanese security services. During anti-austerity and anti-government demonstrations that occurred in Sudan in late September and early October 2013, over 170 people died and 800 people were detained. The majority of people who died had sustained gun-shot wounds to the chest and head, suggesting that security forces had shoot to kill orders. Many of the detainees were held incommunicado and without access to their families and lawyers before being released without charge.

    Shortly before the outbreak of the September 2013 demonstrations, two children and one adult were shot and killed by the police at a protest outside the South Darfur governments’ offices in Nyala. The protest was condemning lack of basic security in Nyala after a militia attack on three unarmed civilians.

    In 2012 and 2013 there have been several incidents of student militias and armed forces deployed to violently disperse demonstrations held on university campuses throughout Sudan. The Government of Sudan has repeatedly failed to effectively investigate or publish the findings of committees of inquiry established to investigate similar excessive use of force by government forces and government-aligned militias against civilians, including on university campuses.

    Under the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, security forces may only use lethal force when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.

    The GoS has traditionally been hostile to Darfuri student associations organising at universities. On 22 May 2013 nine Darfuri students sustained gun-shot wounds at El Fashir University when members of the NISS, the police and a student militia group aligned with the ruling National Congress Party fired live ammunition into a crowd of students on the university campus. The students had attended a public forum to discuss the recent disconnection of water and electricity supplies to the university and student residences.

    Taj Aldeen Arjaa, (m.), 23 years of age, a journalist and blogger, is still in NISS custody after his arrest on 26 December 2013. Mr. Arjaa openly criticised President Omar al Bashir of Sudan and Idriss Deby of Chad at a press conference attended by the two leaders for their alleged roles in the atrocities and human rights violations committed in Darfur.

    The public forum held on 11 March 2014 was called in response to the escalating violence in South Darfur, which broke out in late February following attacks on twenty five villages by the paramilitary Rapid Response Forces. The UN has estimated that at least 50,000 civilians have been displaced, and there have been an unconfirmed number of deaths and sexual violence cases. Also discussed was the security situation in Darfur’s cities. The security situation has become increasingly complex in Darfur with indications emerging that the GoS is losing its control over some government-aligned militia groups. On 1 March a civilian was killed by four border guards in El Fashir, North Darfur during a failed carjacking. The next day a demonstration was organised calling on Governor Osman Mohamed Yousif Kibir to evacuate the border guards outside of the city. Governor Kibir stated that the border guards were under the control of Khartoum and he was unable to do anything.

    ACJPS considers that the recent surge of violence in the region underscores the pressing need for tightened restrictions on the use and supply of arms and ammunitions.

    Contact: Osman Hummaida, Executive Director, African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) in London on +44 7956 095738 or e-mail [email protected]

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