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Sudanese judges strike to protest violence by army officers

March 26, 2020 (KHARTOUM) - Judges in Sudan have gone on open-ended strike Wednesday to protest an attack on a judge by army officers, in the Al-Faw town of Gedaref State, eastern Sudan.

Neemat Abdallah Mohamed Khair (ST photo)On Tuesday, a judge was assaulted by a military force led by two lieutenant officers, while the judge was at a fuel station in the city, according to a statement issued by the chief justice of Sudan.

"We direct all the judges of Sudan and all employees of the judiciary and their departments to strike and stop work immediately until further instructions are issued," said Chief Justice Neemat Abdallah Mohamed Khair in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

Khair further said that she had asked in a letter to the Transitional Sovereignty Council that a military court tries the force that assaulted the judge before their appearance before a civilian court. Also, she called for issuing strict instructions for all regular forces to respect the judiciary and judges in all cases.

The head of the judiciary described the abuse as a flagrant violation of constitutional and legal principles and the judiciary.

"Afflicting a judge and assaulting him as a judge is an attack on the judiciary in the whole country," she said.

"This attack is a watershed between the violations that were committed during the past years and the measures that must be taken to preserve the judiciary’s prestige and respect," she stressed.

During the regime of the ousted President Omer al-Bashir, the military and security services were known for their lack of respect for the judiciary. Also, the security apparatus exerted pressure on judges to issue rulings consistent with the regime’s desire.

The strong reaction of the third authority to this incident reflects the tension and bitterness inherited from the former regime. Also, is favourably seen by the Sudanese who are still waiting for the outcome of the investigation of violence perpetrated against civilians during the revolution.

In a related development, Sudanese doctors union in Jabal Awlia Hospital have launched a strike on Wednesday to protest repeated attacks on doctors in the area where are the barracks of the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum state.

The assault took place when the armed military elements refused to observe the screening measures set-up to control the spread of Coronavirus.

(ST)