Sudan court frees 26 protesters held over fuel demos

2016-12-06 08:00


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Khartoum - A Sudanese court has released 26 people who faced trial for allegedly protesting against a government decision to raise fuel prices last month, their lawyers said on Monday.

The group, including 12 women, were detained after riot policemen swiftly dispersed small rallies that were held against fuel subsidy cuts.

All 26 had been charged with disturbing the peace.

"The court did not find any evidence against the 26 demonstrators," lawyer Manal Khojli who defended some of the detainees told AFP.

"The demonstrators had protested peacefully. They did not disturb the peace and so the court released them."

Another defence lawyer, Enaam Atiej, confirmed the ruling.

Small demonstrations have been staged since the government hiked petrol and diesel prices by about 30 percent, triggering rises in other products such as medicines.

Several opposition politicians and activists have also been arrested for calling for anti-government demonstrations.

The authorities are seeking to prevent a repeat of two months of protests in 2013 that resulted in a deadly crackdown by security forces that rights groups say killed 200 people.

The authorities said fewer than 100 people died in that unrest, triggered by similar fuel subsidy cuts.

The government has progressively cut the subsidies since 2011 when South Sudan seceded, taking with it nearly three-quarters of the formerly united country's oil reserves.

Read more on:    sudan  |  east africa

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