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Sudan court gives death sentence to rebels convicted of Khartoum terrorist attack

[JURIST] A Sudanese court on Monday sentenced eight Darfur rebels to death, including the half brother of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) [organization website] leader Khalil Ibrahim. Abdul Aziz Ashur and others were found guilty on charges related to a May rebel attack on the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, in which at least 200 people died. In June, Sudanese security forces arrested more than 100 JEM members [HRW press release; JURIST report] in connection with the attack. Later that month, 39 accused Darfur [JURIST news archive] rebels appeared [JURIST report] before special courts to be tried under a 2001 anti-terrorism law. News.com has more.

Sudanese officials accuse [AP report] JEM members of terrorism, rebellion and conspiring against the constitution. In June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report [text, PDF; HRW press release] detailing detainee abuse in the wake of the May 10 rebel attack. The report called on the Sudanese government to identify the prisoners detained in connection with the attack, and to release any detainees who have no connection to rebel activities. Since civil war broke out in the Darfur region in 2003, over 200,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million displaced. Reports by the UNHCHR and the International Committee for the Red Cross [official website] have documented numerous violations of human rights and international humanitarian law [JURIST reports] based on interviews with refugees, rebel groups, and agencies and authorities working in the region.

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