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Four get six months' jail over Sudan protest unrest: Lawyer

Sudan information minister says most of those detained after fuel-sparked protests have been released, 200 more to face trial for other crimes

AFP , Thursday 10 Oct 2013
Sudan Riots
Sudanese people living in Egypt shout slogans against Sudan's President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and his government during a protest outside Sudan's embassy in Cairo October 3, 2013. (Photo: Reuters)
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A Sudanese judge jailed four people for six months on Thursday over unrest linked to deadly protests sparked by fuel price hikes in late September, a lawyer said.

They are among hundreds initially rounded up after the demonstrations in which dozens died.

The four were convicted by a court in Khartoum's impoverished Haj Yousef district of creating a disturbance and disturbing public safety, said Mutasim Al-Haj, one of their lawyers.

"This is a harsh punishment because the judge gave them the maximum," he told AFP.

However, the court threw out more serious charges of vandalism which could have been punishable by several years in prison upon conviction, Haj said.

He added the defence team had not decided whether to appeal.

The judge also convicted four youths under the age of 17 but their sentences will be determined by a young offenders' court, the lawyer said.

Thirty-five people initially appeared before the court on identical charges but 27 were acquitted, Haj said.

Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said on Tuesday that most of the hundreds detained after the protests had been released but about 200 will face trial for looting or other crimes.

An activist released after a week in custody without charge told AFP on Tuesday that activists have the names of more than 200 prisoners but "there's a lot" whose names are unknown.

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