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Darfur JEM slams execution of suspects in journalist case

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April 15, 2009 (KHARTOUM) – The Darfur Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) reacted strongly to the executions of nine men carried out on Monday by the Sudanese authorities.

Many rights groups and Darfuris believe that the suspects, all belonging to the Fur tribe, were forced to make a confession under torture and that they did not receive a fair trial.

"The convicted told their families before being executed they were innocent and never killed the journalist," one of the relatives of the convicted people told Sudan Tribune today from Khartoum on condition of anonymity. The relative added that they told that to their family just hours before the execution.

"They said they should be considered as martyrs for the cause of Darfur and asked their families to not weep for them," the source added, before commenting "this is a political crime." He stressed that the convicted were tortured to confess to the crime.

"And you should know that even under torture only three confessed and retracted before the judge," he added.

The prosecutors alleged that the convicted men beheaded the editor in chief of the daily Al-Wifaq newspaper, Mohammed Taha over an article in which he said that the alleged rape in Darfur is nothing but consensual sex.

The verdict drew strong condemnation from JEM.

“The head of the regime, Salah Gosh [spy chief], Osama Abdullah [Dam construction official], Abdel-Rahim Mohamed Hussein [Defense minister] know very well that they have nothing to do with the assassination of Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed” a statement by the rebel movement read.

“Whoever assassinated are the notorious guards of the regime and power lobbies and special interest groups within the regime. Once again motivated by disgusting racism and in a blatant abuse of justice and human values, the people of Darfur pay the high price”.

It was reported that the slain journalist himself had been the target of an assassination attempt five years previously after writing an article which criticized the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

“We say it loud and clear. The regime…will pay the high price for this massacre...made in the name of justice” JEM said.

“Today’s crime proves that the jurisdiction over the crimes committed in Darfur lies under the International Criminal Court (ICC). There is no justice in Sudan”.

Protesters hurled stones at vehicles and forced shops to close as they gathered at the burial place of executed in south Khartoum. The Sudanese police used tear gas and sticks to disperse the protestors.

Some in the crowd chanted slogans in support of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM), a Darfur rebel group which has been fighting the government in the western region of Darfur.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


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