CAIRO - Sudan says it will release all the journalists it detained for covering protests in recent weeks calling for the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir.
State media say the reporters will be released Saturday. Activists, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, say the move is intended to defuse public anger over the government’s response to the demonstrations. They say at least 16 journalists are behind bars.
Sudan's Doctors Syndicate says the government crackdown on protests has left at least 57 dead, including three who died of torture, since they began in mid-December.
In a statement issued on Friday, the union said that the death toll is expected to climb because of the serious condition of some wounded protesters. It also noted the excessive use of tear gas in the crackdown, including in residential areas, and inside homes and hospitals.
The demonstrations were sparked by an economic crisis but quickly escalated into calls for the overthrow of al-Bashir, who seized power in a 1989 military coup. The doctor’s union, which supports the protests, says at least 57 people have been killed.
Activists and opposition figures have called on parliament to hold an emergency session condemning the government’s use of force.