Thousands of Sudanese protesters have taken to the streets across the country to rally against the October military coup and to demand the release of prisoners.
Regular protests calling for civilian rule in Sudan have occurred throughout the northeast African country despite a deadly crackdown since the power grab led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
The coup sparked widespread international condemnation and cuts in aid.
At least 82 people have been killed in the crackdown, many of them shot dead, and hundreds wounded by security forces, according to an independent group of medics. The latest death came on Sunday.
“The number of people detained has exceeded 200,” according to a statement released on Monday by a group of pro-democracy lawyers, which confirmed that some detainees had been ordered released.
Multiple political figures and anti-coup activists are among those who have been detained.
Pro-democracy lawyer Enaam Attik said authorities have ordered that more than 40 people arrested in the crackdown on anti-coup protests be freed.
‘Go back to the barracks’
During Monday’s demonstrations, protesters called on the military “to go back to the barracks” in the city of Wad Madani, south of Khartoum, witnesses said.
In the eastern state of Gadarif they chanted, “Civilian is the people’s choice”, according to witness Amal Hussein, as quoted by the AFP news agency.
Demonstrators also marched to rally outside a government building in the Red Sea city of Port Sudan but security forces blocked their route with tear gas, according to witnesses.
In the eastern border state of Kassala, young protesters chanted, “No, no to military rule” as they headed towards a military base in the city, witness Hussein Idris told AFP.
Security forces in the capital Khartoum fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters who tried to rally outside the presidential palace, where the ruling Sovereign Council is based along the Nile River, according to the agency.
Meanwhile, a UN human rights expert was in Sudan on Monday to verify allegations of human rights violations after the coup.
Adama Dieng, the UN’s expert on human rights in Sudan appointed in November, arrived in Khartoum on Sunday, a month after Sudan’s authorities asked for the postponement of his visit, according to the UN Human Rights Council.
Dieng met acting Justice Minister Mohamed Saeed al-Hilu and was scheduled to meet other senior government officials, activists and civil society groups.
The military takeover derailed a transition to full civilian rule negotiated between military and civilian leaders following the 2019 removal of strongman president Omar al-Bashir.