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Sudan parliament reduces state of emergency to 6 months

Staff Writer | March 12, 2019
Sudan’s parliament has approved a six-month countrywide state of emergency, Parliament Speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omer announced Monday.
Ibrahim Ahmed Omer
Africa   Parliament Speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omer
The move comes after President Omar al-Bashir declared a one-year state of emergency in February.

Along with the state of emergency, al-Bashir had also announced the establishment of “emergency courts” tasked with prosecuting anti-regime demonstrators, smugglers and foreign currency speculators.

According to Sudan’s Democratic Lawyers Alliance, an estimated 870 protesters have been hauled before the newly-established courts in the past two weeks alone.

Addressing lawmakers at Monday’s assembly session, Justice Minister Mohamed Ahmed Salim claimed the new courts were not specifically targeting protesters, whose right to due legal process, he said, was not being violated.

The six-month state of emergency was opposed by independent lawmakers and the Popular Congress Party of late opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi.