Altaghyeer: Khartoum

Surgeons were unable to operate on Asim Omer because of his deteriorating health as a result of the torture he was subjected to inside Cobar prison more the]an a month ago.

Asim’s brother Aziz revealed to Altaghyeer yesterday that a scheduled surgical operation on his brother was called off due to “an inflammation of the seventh nerve”.

Aziz indicated that their family is widely concerned about Asim’s jailing conditions but despite that pointed out his persistence.

Previously the Sudanese congress party stated that uniformed personnel at the prison brutally tortured Asim, who is affiliated with the congress of independent students- the student arm of the party- and to medical examinations the beatings resulted in a “perforated eardrum, loss of hearing on the right ear, injured testes and wounds on the legs and hands which affected his ability to eat”.

A photo of Asim circulating on social media platforms showed the injuries on his ear.

Asim Omer spent 30 months in custody after he was arrested by security authorities following protests held by students of University of Khartoum against the decision to sell the university’s property in May 2016. Two policemen were killed during those protests and Asim was charged with murder. Since then he was held in more than three different detention centers and severely beaten and tortured during interrogation.

During trial the forensic doctor’s testimony wasn’t presented to the court which is crucial in revealing the cause of death and its relation to the offence attributed to the defendant, in addition to exposing the criminal intent. Equally, testimony from the criminal laboratories wasn’t presented as their experts processed the vehicle on which the incident took place, a step that would have determined the material used in the attack and clarified its impact and ability to cause death or significant bodily harm.

Absence of such testimonies and contradicting witness accounts on top of overall circumstances of the case largely advances a presumed politicization of justice, a matter extensively condemned by those working in the legal field.

Asim’s case drew wide following and local and international solidarity from students and activists who believe that the charges against him are “malicious and political”.

In October Amnesty International called Sudanese authorities to conduct an urgent investigation in allegations of Asim being tortured while detained, saying in a statement that “this young man has severely suffered on the hands of a politicized and corrupt justice system”.

In August the Supreme Court quashed the death sentence handed to Asim by the trial court and upheld by the court of appeals, and ordered a retrial.

The first court session in retrial clearly demonstrated the continuation of contradiction of accounts delivered by prosecution witnesses as the defendant awaits another session at Khartoum North court next Wednesday.