Sudan investigator says teacher died of wounds in custody

Map of Sudan (iStock)
Map of Sudan (iStock)

A Sudanese investigator confirmed on Thursday that a teacher arrested in connection with protests had died of wounds suffered while in detention, as claimed by relatives and anti-government demonstrators.

Ahmed al-Kheir, 36, was arrested last week in the eastern state of Kassala by agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

His uncle Ahmed Abdelwahab told AFP on February 2 that security agents had taken Kheir from his home in the city of Khashm el-Girba, alleging that he was "one of the protest organisers" in the area.

The family was later told to take his body from a local mortuary where the uncle saw "marks of beatings on his back".

Kheir's death in detention has triggered protests, with hundreds of teachers demonstrating earlier this week.

On Thursday, a top Sudanese official confirmed that Kheir had died from wounds sustained while in detention.

Amer Ibrahim, the head of a committee at the prosecutor's office investigating protest-related violence, told reporters that Kheir had "died of wounds suffered on his body".

"The man had wounds on the back, legs and other parts of his body that led to his death," Ibrahim said.

"We have asked the chief of NISS in Kassala to bring the security agents who interrogated Kheir in Khashm el-Girba," he said, indicating that the teacher had died in detention.

Officials say 30 people have died in protest-related violence, while Human Rights Watch says at least 51 people have been killed in clashes with security forces since demonstrations first erupted on December 19.

On Thursday, hundreds of protesters rallied in Khartoum in support of fellow demonstrators detained in the seven weeks of protests against President Omar al-Bashir's iron-fisted rule.

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