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Sudan student convicted of killing policeman: lawyer

Khartoum, Sudan | AFP | A court in Sudan convicted a university student on Tuesday of killing a policeman during protests in the capital last year, a defence lawyer told AFP.

Asim Omer, who was studying at Khartoum University, was arrested in December 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 2016.

“The court found Asim guilty under Sudan’s penal code, and he will be sentenced on September 24,” his defence lawyer Mohamed Arabi said.

Under Sudanese law, Omer could suffer the death penalty for killing the policeman.

Students at Khartoum University demonstrated several times last year against what they said was a plan to sell off buildings belonging to the institution.

The government denied the charge, and police often resorted to firing tear gas to disperse the protesters.

Demonstrations against local grievances occur frequently in Sudan but are often suppressed by police and state security agencies.

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 were arrested.

The biggest crackdown on protesters was in September 2013, when dozens of demonstrators were killed during anti-austerity rallies.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Khartoum and in some other regions calling for the downfall of President Omar al-Bashir’s regime, also after the authorities slashed fuel subsidies.

Rights group Amnesty International said at the time that about 200 people were killed, hundreds were wounded and more than 800 arrested.

The government gave a death toll of fewer than 100.

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