Sudanese demand justice for slain protesters


Thousands of Sudanese protested outside the presidential palace in Khartou calling for the appointment of senior judicial officials and justice for demonstrators killed since December.

It was the first major protest since the signing last month of a power-sharing deal between the military and civilian groups for a three-year transition leading to elections.

Police blocked protesters in central Khartoum near the palace, but they surged past a barbed wire barrier to the palace gates. Police later fired tear gas to disperse them, Reuters witnesses said.

Protesters called for a new head of the judiciary and a new public prosecutor, steps they hope will lead to prosecution of security forces blamed for deaths during demonstrations against Bashir and the military council that initially replaced him.

“Blood for blood, we won’t accept blood money,” the crowd chanted, repeating a slogan first used in protests against Bashir.

Some called out “The people want a new chief justice,” and “Yes to an independent judiciary.”

“We demand justice for the martyrs and for those who killed them to face justice,” said a female protest organiser.

In June, the military council dismissed public prosecutor Awaleed Sayed Ahmed Mahmoud and named an interim replacement.

The move came soon after Mahmoud had announced he would investigate the killing of dozens of people on June 3, when security forces cleared a sit-in outside the Defence Ministry.

Authorities acknowledge 87 deaths resulting from violence that day with protest groups putting the toll at130.

Justice over those deaths and other killings during crackdowns on anti-Bashir protests is a key demand of civilian parties negotiating the power-sharing deal.