Sudanese security forces have killed a protester in the capital, Khartoum, an independent group of medics has said, as thousands of people take to the streets to reject military rule and demand the release of prisoners.
Sudanese security forces fired tear gas as protesters rallied against the October 25 military takeover led by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Demonstrators in the capital Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman also demanded the release of several political figures and pro-democracy activists arrested amid a crackdown on opposition groups.
“A male protester whose identity is yet to be known, has been killed by a cartridge in the neck & chest, fired by security forces while participating in today’s anti-coup march in Khartoum city,” the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD) said in a statement on Monday.
The latest death takes the number of civilians killed in the crackdown since last year’s coup to at least 80, it added.
The military and police say they allow peaceful protest, that members of the security forces have had to defend themselves, and that casualties are being investigated.
Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD)
February 14th, 2022
A male protester whose identity is yet to be known, has been killed by a cartridge in the neck & chest, fired by security forces while participating in today’s anti-coup march in Khartoum city. pic.twitter.com/OQGdmRT0J5
— لجنة أطباء السودان المركزية-CCSD (@SD_DOCTORS) February 14, 2022
Regular mass protests have rocked the troubled northeast African nation since the coup. The power grab derailed a fragile power-sharing agreement between the army and civilians negotiated after the 2019 ouster of longtime leader Omar al-Bashir, and despite international pressure, authorities have shown little inclination to compromise, as arrests of civilian leaders have proliferated lately.
Al Jazeera’s Hiba Morgan, reporting from Omdurman, said people gathered once again to voice their condemnation and anger at Sudan’s military rulers.
Protesters say they have been demanding “no negotiation with the military, no compromise, and that the military should return to the barracks”, Morgan said.
In Omdurman, protesters had planned to march to the legislative assembly to “show the military that they want a civilian government”.
Protests also took place in the eastern city of Port Sudan and in the western Darfur region, according to witnesses.
In Khartoum, protesters carried Sudanese flags and red balloons as well as banners that read: “Today is the nation’s love day” as the rallies coincided with Valentine’s Day.
Since the coup, authorities have arrested dozens of activists who belong to so-called resistance committees that have been instrumental in organising protests.
“The number of people detained arbitrarily and without criminal charges has exceeded 100,” the Sudanese Professionals Association said on Monday.
The group, which also calls for anti-coup protests, said the detainees are aged between 16 and 60.
On Sunday, Sudanese authorities arrested Mohamed al-Faki, a civilian former member of the ruling Sovereign Council, which led the country under the 2019 power-sharing agreement.
Last week, authorities arrested ex-minister Khaled Omar Youssef and Wagdi Saleh, the spokesman of Sudan’s main civilian bloc, the Forces for Freedom and Change (FFC).
Those arrests came just a day after they joined an FFC delegation for talks with United Nations special representative Volker Perthes, as part of efforts launched last month to resolve Sudan’s deepening crisis.
Separately, detainees in Soba prison in Khartoum’s periphery began a hunger strike to protest against prison conditions, the CCSD said.
“Some have been detained without facing charges and others still await investigations,” this group said in a statement.