September 24, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – A Sudanese court sentenced a university student to death by hanging on Sunday for the alleged killing a policeman during protests last year, triggering protests after the verdict.
Last August, Khartoum North Criminal Court found Asim Omer, 21 years, guilty of premeditated murder, however, the judge delayed the sentencing until the 24th September to listen to the victim’s family and make them decide on whether the convict should be punished or receive a pardon.
The Khartoum court, headed by Judge Abdeen Dahi, sentenced Omer to death by hanging, pointing that the family of the deceased’s family refused blood money and demanded the death sentence.
Omer is a student at the University of Khartoum, he was arrested by the Sudanese security service and accused of killing a police officer who died after a hit by a Molotov cocktail during the student protests in April 2016.
The trial session which was held amid tight security measures was attended by representatives of the European Union, a number of Western embassies and international human rights organizations.
After the verdict, hundreds of students and representatives of the Sudanese opposition demonstrated outside the court, chanting anti-government slogans. But the Police responded to the protesters using tear gas to disperse them.
The demonstrations moved to the University of Khartoum, where police forces had to close the surrounding streets and disperse protesters with heavy tear gas. Eyewitnesses told Sudan Tribune that the security forces arrested a number of protesters.
The Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) slammed rejected the “fabricated” sentence against Omer who is one of its members. It further stressed that verdict is “contrary to the law and to the evidence,” pointing out that the prosecution did not offer evidence to justify the penalty.
The opposition party stressed that it would challenge the decision before the Supreme Court, adding “despite our knowledge of the nature of the critical stage reached by state institutions under the absolute control of the security apparatus.”
The statement said all the options are open for dealing with this issue and to protect Omer’s life.
SPLM-N Agar Secretary General Yasir Arman slammed the verdict and described it as “political by excellence”.
He further voiced their solidarity with him and called on the SPLM-N membership, allies and supporters to continue to defend him adding that “such crimes would not stop until the removal of this criminal regime”.
Sudanese Communist students office in Khartoum, for its part, condemned the death sentence saying it comes in line with the “political trials the regime has been conducting against the innocents and those who resist its policies”.
“The prosecution did not provide any evidence condemning Asim,” said the Communist students emphasizing that “The defence evidence confirmed that the day the crime was committed the student was at his home.