Geneva – The Sudanese security forces used excessive violence to suppress protests against the military rule on Saturday, leaving several protesters killed, others wounded, and dozens arrested, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said Sunday in a statement.

Identical sources indicated that the security forces deliberately targeted the upper body parts of the protestors with live bullets, especially their chests and heads. As a result, six protesters were killed, and dozens were injured, according to local medical sources.

   The Sudanese security and army's suppression of the demonstrations using violent means reflects the dangerous approach adopted by the military institution in dealing with the protests.   

Youssef Salem, Legal researcher at Euro-Med Monitor

The security forces also fired tear gas canisters directly at the protesters’ bodies, causing several head fractures and suffocation.

In addition, dozens of protesters in the capital, Khartoum, were arrested, including some from the Al-Arbaeen Hospital in Omdurman, as the security forces stormed the hospital and attacked the medical staff and the injured inside.

The campaign of arrests, which extended to Sunday morning, affected a number of activists and journalists. Among them was the director of Al Jazeera's office in Sudan, Al-Muslimi Al-Kabashi, whose house was raided when he was arrested there, according to a statement issued by Al Jazeera.

According to the Central Committee of Sudan Doctors (CCSD), 21 protesters were killed since the outbreak of protests against the military coup on 25 October through Sunday morning, as the military authorities continue to use excessive force to suppress the demonstrations.

K.H., one of the participants in the 13 November protests in Khartoum, told the Euro-Med Monitor, “When we arrived at the Al-Mua’sasa area, which is the main gathering point for the demonstrations, at about 12:40 p.m. on Saturday, we learned that one person [a protester] had been shot dead by the security forces in Al-Arbaa’een Street in the Omdurman area, which created great panic. After that, the demonstrators were directly targeted with live bullets and tear gas canisters.”

“The demonstrators gathered at 1 p.m. in the Shagara area near Al-Siteen Street, but the security forces met them with bullets and tear gas canisters and were able to detain a number of them and beat them," he added.

“I saw the tear gas canisters falling directly on the heads of the demonstrators. And when protesters got killed or wounded, their comrades gave them first aid, since security forces were positioned near the equipped ambulances,” he continued. “At exactly 4:30 p.m., the security forces closed all the main roads and bridges leading to the capital. This hindered providing first aid to the wounded protesters and worsened the situation.”

For his part, Sudanese activist Abdul Rahman Awad Allah told Euro-Med Monitor, “The internet service is still down in Sudan for the 21st consecutive day, except terrestrial internet service for some government institutions and agencies. This confirms the authorities' insistence on imposing a comprehensive media blackout and preventing coordination and neighborhood committees from organizing peaceful protests.”

In turn, legal researcher at Euro-Med Monitor, Youssef Salem, said, “Since 25 October, Sudan has witnessed grave violations of human rights, represented in the violation of the right to life, freedom of expression, and the suppression of peaceful civil gatherings, in contravention of national and international laws and norms.”

The Sudanese security and army's suppression of the demonstrations using violent means reflects the dangerous approach adopted by the military institution in dealing with the protests, which seems to continue in light of the army leadership's continued military coup, and its insistence not to retreat from all the measures it has taken unilaterally since 25 October,” he added.

The Sudanese army should immediately stop using excessive violence against demonstrators, respect the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of opinion and expression, and unconditionally release all detainees in connection with peaceful protests.

The military should also open an independent and public investigation into the killings of demonstrators – especially those on 13 November – identify and hold all those involved in the shooting of demonstrators accountable, and commit not to repeat these dangerous practices.