Al-Bashir's Protest Crackdown Leaves at Least 37 Dead in Sudan
(Bloomberg) -- The death toll from a week of demonstrations against rising inflation and food shortages in Sudan rose to more than 37, Sudanese doctors said, as protests against the nearly 30-year-rule of President Umar al-Bashir snowballed.
“The number is higher than 37 as new protesters have been killed,” the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors said in a statement.
Amnesty International said Dec. 24 it had credible reports that 37 protesters had been shot dead by security forces in the first five days of anti-government demonstrations that have rocked the north African nation. Police used live bullets and tear gas Tuesday to break up a rally in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, where participants demanded that al-Bashir step down.
The doctors group said it was tallying the number of people killed. Last week, the government said at least eight people had been killed and hasn’t since made any further comment on the death toll.
Al-Bashir has blamed the protests on foreign countries and “mercenaries,” and said that economic reforms would improve the lives of Sudanese citizens.
A word of international support for al-Bashir, who came to power in a coup in 1989 and has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity, came from Turkey’s government on Wednesday.
“We are aware of the recent ploys against Sudan,” Cevdet Yilmaz, deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling party, said as he met with Sudan’s ambassador in Ankara. “We support the legitimate government of Sudan. Turkey has faced similar ploys many times.”
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