Human Rights office concerned about recent clashes between Sudan's police and students

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Rupert Colville, UN Human Rights spokesperson

The UN Human rights office has expressed concern about recent violent clashes between students and police in Khartoum, Sudan.

The Office says that on Monday, 10 December, hundreds of students continued to protest, for a third day, over the deaths of four Darfuri students belonging to El-Gezira University in Central Sudan.

Spokesperson Rupert Colville says the students' bodies were discovered in a canal near the university. They had gone missing at the beginning of last week after taking part in a protest about plans to repeal a tuition fee exemption for Darfuri students.

“ We condemn the killings of the four students. While noting the announcement by the Sudanese Minister of Justice of a commission of inquiry, we stress the need for swift investigations into the circumstances surrounding the murders of the students and the importance of bringing the perpetrators to justice…There is a worrying trend of attacks on students in Sudan. Back in July, in the most serious recent example, the police reportedly shot and killed at least eight people, mostly students aged 17 or under.”

The Human Rights office says more than 50 others were injured in the same incident, when the police opened fire at demonstrators in Nyala, in South Darfur.

The Government has said that its preliminary investigation absolved the police of any responsibility for the incident.

And according to the UN Human Rights office, given the gravity of the incident, and the numbers killed and injured, we believe that a full, thorough and transparent investigation is essential.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

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