In a statement on Friday, the Darfur Bar Association (DBA) strongly objected to the death sentence handed-down by the Khartoum Bahri Criminal Court on student Mohamed Abdallah Baggari.
Onandnbsp;29 April last year, militant National Congress Party (NCP) students attacked a meeting of the Darfur Student Association. After the clash, a senior member of the Islamist student wing of the ruling NCP, Mohamed Awadelkarim, was found dead on the campus.
Baggari was immediately detained on charges of killing Awadelkarim. He was first brought before a judge of the Khartoum Bahri Criminal Court onandnbsp;14 May 2015andnbsp;without a defence lawyer present. Inandnbsp;November, the Criminal Court of Khartoum North sentenced Baggari for manslaughter to five years’ imprisonment and the payment of ‘blood money’ to Awadelkarim’s relatives. In the appeal case however, the judge changed the verdict to the death penalty.
According to the DBA the court hearings violated Baggari’s right to legal aid provided for in the 2005 Interim Constitution. The statement mentions that he appeared at the court hearings with clear marks of torture, and that he was pressured to withdraw from his right to legal representation. Furthermore, the Khartoum Bahri Criminal Court has deprived Baggari of his right to a fair investigation and prosecution and just representation in various stages, in addition to failing to notify his relatives of the complaint filed against him.
The Darfur lawyers demand the procedures to be corrected by a rerun of the investigation procedure with the accused and his witnesses according to the law.
In a separate statement, the Sudanese Congress Party expressed its “sadness at what happened to the Sudanese judiciary”.
The opposition party considers the death sentence of Baggari “a crime shameful for humanity”. It announced its solidarity with the convicted student by stating that its legal sector’s “stands ready to form a new defence council”.