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Family of disabled Sudan protester file petition to revoke legal immunity for military leaders

Hemedti's Rapid Support Forces are thought to have committed atrocities against protesters and civilians [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 October, 2019

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The family of a protester who was permanently disabled after being shot in June has taken to the courts to take steps to prosecute Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Hemedti.
The family of a Sudanese protester permanently disabled after being shot by authorities is filing a petition at the Constitutional Court on Monday, demanding the attorney general lift legal immunity for Chairman of the Transitional Military Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the head of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) militia Hemedti, along with two other military leaders.

Protester Mohammed Mujtaba was shot twice on 3 June when paramilitary forces stormed a peaceful pro-democracy sit-in in Khartoum.

The bullet wounds have permanently handicapped Mujtaba and caused him to freeze his engineering degree at Rabat University, his father Ammar al-Sajad said.

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The petition calls for legal immunity to be stripped from Burhan and Hemedti, as well as Transitional Military Council member Lieutenant General Shams al-Din Kabbashi and Lieutenant General Yasser al-Atta.

The four leaders "must take criminal responsibility" for the massacre, al-Sajad told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service, pointing out that the forces which assaulted protesters were regular forces using military vehicles, "not faceless demons or ghosts".

At least 128 people were killed in the massacre, according to the pro-democracy Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors (CCSD).

Dozens more remain missing after bodies were thrown in the Nile.

Protest leaders have asked the new transitional government to prosecute those for the killing of demonstrators since protests began in December last year.

A new, independent investigation into the 3 June massacre was launched in September, and is set to take six months.

Al-Sajad said his family had resorted petitioning the court as says the investigation is unlikely to lead to prosecutions.

It has been unclear how the new government will hold the RSF and its commander accountable if paramilitary forces are found responsible for the killings.

The RSF is an officialised offshoot of the Janjaweed militias, widely accused of war crimes and genocide in the Darfur conflict.

The paramilitary forces, led by sovereign council member Dagalo, are also accused of rights violations against civilians in Sudan's Blue Nile and South Kordofan conflict zones.


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