Police forces were deployed some 400 meters from the protest, according to an Anadolu Agency reporter at the scene.
The rally comes only a few days after President Omar Al Bashir pledged to allow opposition parties to function freely countrywide. He also vowed to release all political detainees with the exception of those convicted of criminal offences.
Demonstrators carried banners calling for the fall of Al Bashir's government and the release of all detainees. At one point, a delegation of protesters entered the office of the rights commission – an affiliate of the Sudanese presidency – to deliver a formal complaint against the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) for the recent detention of 11 political activists.
Bakri Youssef, a spokesman for Sudan's opposition Congress Party, said the head of the commission had promised to examine the complaint and call on the President to free the 11 detainees.
Sudanese authorities announced on Tuesday that they had released all political detainees on the president's orders. They did not, however, specify the number of those who had been released. Nevertheless, a coalition of opposition parties said the authorities had only released a total of five political detainees, while 11 still remained in detention.
“Apart from those detainees, the Khartoum regime is still holding 20 people in Khartoum prisons because of their participation in the September demonstrations of last year,” the opposition National Consensus Forces' spokesman Siddig Yusif told Radio Dabanga. “These protesters are not included in the decision of the President that stipulates the release of political detainees not subjected to criminal proceedings. Yet most of the demonstrators were arrested on the basis of a law criminalising participants to demonstrations.”
File photo (archive Radio Dabanga)