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Sudan court charges two men with terrorism

A Sudanese court on Wednesday charged two men with terrorism in connection with anti-government protests last month. The two men, including one US resident, were charged with forming a terrorist organization [Reuters report] after police allegedly found materials calling for protests and a new government in their homes. Theirs is the first trial for demonstrators arrested during the anti-government protest that turned violent last month. Earlier this month, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch [advocacy websites] came together to urge the Sudanese government to end the detention of protesters [JURIST report] in the country. The two groups estimated that Sudanese security forces had detained more than 2,000 peaceful protesters since June.

Government abuses and violent conflict in Sudan have raised international concern recently. The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos on Friday expressed concern [JURIST report] about deteriorating conditions in Sudan due to continued violent conflict in the country. Amos noted a recent increase in Sudanese refugees crossing into neighboring countries because of the conflict. In June UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged Sudan authorities [JURIST report] to take measures to prevent violence against protesters in upcoming demonstrations. Earlier that month AI urged Sudanese authorities to cease violence against protesters and journalists [JURIST report]. The call came after the country's police in Khartoum used tear gas and batons against civilians who protested over austerity cuts.

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