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Sudanese Police Beat and Detain Anti-Government Protesters in Khartoum
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Mar 9, 2011 - 6:56:10 AM

Sudanese Police Beat and Detain Anti-Government Protesters in Khartoum

Sudanese police officers arrested about a dozen protesters in downtown Khartoum as they dispersed scores of demonstrators calling for an end to President Umar al- Bashir’s 21-year rule.

Uniformed police and agents in civilian clothes beat some protesters with sticks and rubber truncheons in the capital as they moved to halt today’s demonstrations, which are calling for the downfall of the government.

The protest was inspired by uprisings that forced the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt to step down, said Farouq Abu Eissa, a spokesman for an opposition coalition known as the National Consensus Forces. Police arrested two members of the Communist party and one from the Baath party at their houses at dawn, the spokeswoman of the Umma opposition party, Mariam al- Mahdi, said by phone today from Khartoum.

“We will also demand to topple our own regime,” Abu Eissa said March 7 in Khartoum. “It will be a gathering for all forces wanting democracy.”

A-Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 coup, will not run for another presidential term in 2015, his party said last month. He retained power in Sudan’s first multiparty election in 24 years in April, winning 68 percent of the vote. Observers from the Atlanta-based Carter Center and the European Union said the elections failed to meet international standards.

Police Warning

Sudan’s police warned against unauthorized protests and said it would take measures against illegal gatherings, the pro- government Akhbar al-Youm newspaper reported yesterday, citing Mohamed al-Hafez, Khartoum’s police chief. Al-Hafez did not answer calls to his mobile phone today seeking comment.

“We have notified the police that we are organizing this gathering so they come and protect us, not asking for permission,” al-Mahdi said by phone on March 7. “They refused to take the notification, so we are telling the media that we did our legal part.”

Police arrested about 30 women yesterday during a protest in Khartoum against an alleged rape of a female activist by policemen last month.

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