Middle East

Sudanese opposition leader’s daughter jailed over protests: party

CAIRO (Reuters) – The deputy head of Sudan’s opposition Umma Party was sentenced to a week in prison on Sunday for demonstrating against the president, a party official and a lawyer said, as activists protested against emergency laws imposed last month.

Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi, the daughter of Umma leader Sadiq al-Mahdi, was among a group of 16 detained while demonstrating in front of Umma’s headquarters in Omdurman, across the Nile from the center of the capital, Khartoum, said defense lawyer Khalafallah Hussein.

The court also fined her 2,000 Sudanese pounds ($42) for participating in the protest, which called on President Omar al-Bashir to step down, said Mohamed al-Mahdi Hassan, head of the party’s political bureau.

Another of Sadiq al-Mahdi’s daughters, Rabah, was also arrested and fined 500 pounds, according to Hussein.

Bashir declared a state of emergency last month after weeks of demonstrations, the most sustained challenge to his rule since he came to power in the coup that overthrew Sadiq al-Mahdi in 1989.

On Sunday afternoon, hundreds took to the streets in different areas of Omdurman to protest against the emergency laws. Police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse them.

The measures include an expansion of powers for the security services and a ban on unlicensed public gatherings. More than 800 people have been tried in the emergency courts, according to the Democratic Alliance of Lawyers, an opposition group.

On Saturday, nine female Sudanese protesters were sentenced to 20 lashes and one month in prison for rioting, the alliance said.

Mariam Sadiq al-Mahdi was briefly arrested at the end of January in connection with the protests.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Kevin Liffey


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