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UN condemns killing of protesters in Sudan

The United Nations has condemned the killing of peaceful protestors in Sudan.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Michelle Bachelet, said in a statement in Geneva that the continued use of live ammunition against protestors was “utterly shameful.”

Bachelet said that since October 25 coup, at least 39 people have been killed by security forces in Sudan, with 15 reportedly shot dead on Wednesday and over 100 were said to have been injured.  According to police, 89 officers were also injured.

“Shooting into large crowds of unarmed demonstrators, leaving dozens dead and many more injured, is deplorable, clearly aimed at stifling the expression of public dissent, and amounts to gross violations of international human rights law,” she said.

Protesters demonstrating against an Oct. 25 coup across Khartoum’s capital and the cities of Bahri and Omdurman demanded a complete surrender to a civilian government and the prosecution of the coup leaders.

The African Union suspended Sudan saying until civilian rule was restored, calling the military takeover an “unconstitutional” seizure of power.

Shut down of ICT

The military imposed a complete shutdown of phone and mobile communications on Wednesday, in addition to the ongoing suspension of internet services. Only satellite links remained operational.

Bachelet noted that relatives were unable to check on their loved ones’ safety, and hospitals were unable to contact doctors as emergency rooms became overcrowded.

“Blanket internet and telecommunications shutdowns violate core principles of necessity and proportionality and contravene international law.”

Since the military coup, journalists, particularly those seen to be critical of the leadership, have been arrested arbitrarily, attacked while reporting, and had their homes and workplaces raided by security agents.

Additionally, there have been frightening allegations of their attempted abduction by armed assailants dressed in civilian clothing.

Bachelet urged authorities to promptly release all individuals detained for exercising their rights to free expression and peaceful assembly, as well as all detained political actors.

Reporting by Abdullahi Lamino, Editing by Saadatu Albashir