SUDAN: 10 DARFUR REBELS SENTENCED TO DEATH
|Members of JEM in Darfur in October 2007
April 15, 2009: A Sudanese court condemned 10 rebels from the Darfur rebel Justice and Equality Movement to death for an unprecedented attack on Khartoum in 2008 which killed more than 220 people.
"I condemn you to death by hanging," Judge Mutasim Tajisir said in delivering the verdict.
The men were found guilty of terrorist activities, overthrowing the regime, destruction of public property and possession of illegal arms, he said.
"God is Great! JEM is strong! Revolution, revolution until victory!" cried the defendants, dressed in traditional long robes, after hearing the verdict.
Tajisir, who ordered the release of three others accused in the case, gave the defendants one week to appeal the verdict.
Fifty members of JEM -- the most active Darfur rebel group -- have already been condemned to hang over the attack on the capital's twin city of Omdurman in May 2008.
Last year, the United Nations expressed concern over the trials in the Sudanese courts especially created for the case and urged Khartoum to abolish capital punishment.
Under Sudanese law, any death sentence must be ratified by an appeal court and the high court. All death warrants must then be signed and approved by President Omar al-Beshir. (Sources: AFP, 15/04/2009)