News24

Sudan students forcibly evicted - claim

2012-02-17 22:24

Khartoum - Sudanese police on Friday forcibly evicted scores of university students who had remained in their dormitories after violent demonstrations led to the campus's shutdown weeks ago, witnesses said.

Police arrived at the University of Khartoum early on Friday and said: "Now the university is shut down, you are not allowed to stay in the residence," one student witness told AFP.

Those who resisted were beaten with batons, witnesses said. They gave divergent figures of up to about 200 for the number of students taken away to various police stations.

Procedures to release some of them had begun, but police were refusing to free others, one student said.

Classes at the campus along the Nile river were suspended after students and riot police battled in late December. What began as a sit-in related to a dispute over university fees spilled into surrounding streets where police fired tear gas and students tossed stones.

A few days earlier, police had broken up another protest outside the University of Khartoum, in support of residents displaced by a dam project.

Despite the suspension of classes some students continued to live on campus.

Those detained in December were among more than 250 people, including activists and opposition figures, arrested as part of a renewed crackdown, Human Rights Watch said last month.

The watchdog said the "wave of repression" coincided with increased public outcry over social grievances largely brought on by deteriorating economic conditions and political uncertainty after the secession of South Sudan last year.