A court in Sudan on Sunday sentenced a
university student to death after convicting
him of killing a policeman during protests in
the capital last year , a defence lawyer said.

Asim Omer, who was studying at Khartoum
University, was arrested in December 2016 and
charged with killing the policeman after
hundreds of students clashed with security
forces at the campus on the banks of the Blue
Nile in April of that year.

Last month , the court found Omer guilty , and
on Sunday sentenced him to be hanged .
“The judge sentenced Asim Omer to be hanged
to death after finding him guilty of killing a
policeman, ” defence lawyer Mohamed Arabi
told AFP, adding that he would appeal .
After sentencing, during which AFP was unable
to gain access to the courtroom, police fired
tear gas to disperse a protest by students
gathered outside the court.

The protests relocated to areas in and around
Khartoum University , with those
demonstrations also dispersed by the same
means.
The opposition Popular Congress Party, of
which Omer is a member , rejected the court’s
ruling.
“The sentencing of Asim Omer is illegal because
the judge didn ’t have full evidence to convict
him,” the party said in a statement .
“We will continue our fight in the higher court
and all alternatives are open to us to save his
life. ”

Students at Khartoum University demonstrated
several times last year against an alleged plan
to sell off buildings belonging to the
institution .
The government denied the charge, and police
often resorted to firing tear gas.
Sunday’s ruling “definitely affects the image of
the country and the image of the judiciary ” ,
said prominent human rights activist Mudawi
Ibrahim Adam .

In late 2016 , sporadic anti-government rallies
were staged in Khartoum after the government
raised fuel prices.
The demonstrations were swiftly broken up by
security forces , and dozens of opposition
leaders and activists like Ibrahim Adam were
arrested.

Adam was released last month under a
presidential pardon.
The bloodiest crackdown on protesters came in
September 2013 , when dozens of
demonstrators were killed during anti-
austerity rallies.

Thousands of people took to the streets of
Khartoum and other regions calling for the
downfall of President Omar al-Bashir ’s regime ,
also after fuel subsidies were slashed .
Amnesty International said at the time that
about 200 people were killed, hundreds
wounded and more than 800 arrested . The
government gave a toll of less than 100 dead .


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