Opposition calls on Sudan to free Turabi

The protesters took to the streets after leaving a forum by an opposition coalition, which included all the main parties, who demanded Turabi's immediate release.

Opposition calls on Sudan to free Turabi

Sudanese police clashed on Wednesday with protesters demanding the release of opposition leader Hassan al-Turabi, who was detained after he called for a "popular revolution" over price rises and political demands.

A Reuters witness saw riot police attack about 150 protesters on a main road in the Riyad suburb of Khartoum with tear gas and batons. Three cars full of security men carrying rifles were waiting behind the riot police.

Protesters were shouting "freedom and justice".

Turabi's arrest on Tuesday came at a politically sensitive time for the government of President Omar Hassan al Bashir, who stands to lose control over the oil-producing south which last week voted in a separation referendum.

It also comes as Tunisia grapples with fallout from the ouster of its long-time president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who fled the country last week after three weeks of violent unrest sparked by social grievances.

Sudanese police this week also arrested 10 members of Turabi's party who had called for street protests if Khartoum did not reverse price rises and form a national coalition government to include the opposition in the north of Sudan.

The protesters took to the streets on Wednesday after leaving a forum by an opposition coalition, which included all the main parties, who demanded Turabi's immediate release.

The opposition had threatened on Sunday to take to the streets if the government did not remove its finance minister and dismantle parliament over the decision to raise prices on a range of goods.

Arab governments are reeling from Tunisia's popular revolution which ousted its president after 23 years in power, sparking calls for similar uprisings throughout the Arab world.

Sudan is grappling with a current account deficit and a currency devaluation that is driving up inflation.

On Wednesday Turabi's family staged a sit-in protest outside the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) demanding they be allowed to visit him.


Agencies

Last Mod: 20 Ocak 2011, 12:01
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