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Sudan court charges Sudanese protester with US residency of inciting violence
CAIRO (AP) ¯¯¯ A Sudanese court charged two nationals Wednesday with membership in an organization that incites violence against the regime, their lawyer said.
It is the first such serious criminal charge from the latest wave of anti-government protests.
Lawyer AlMutassem al-Haj Ahmed said the charges against Rudwan Dawoud and Ahmed Mahjoub could carry a death sentence if it is proved they used violence.
Dawoud is married to an American and has a U.S. residency permit.
The two were arrested on July 4 in a southern Khartoum neighborhood along with 10 others. The authorities accused them of planning a protest in which they intended to use fire bombs and burn vehicles. The judge freed the other 10, Ahmed said.
The lawyer said Dawoud admitted to the court that he had called for a peaceful protest against the government's austerity policy, adopted last month. The new measures, which significantly raised the prices of fuel and basic commodities, have sparked an unprecedented wave of protests around Sudan which appeared to be partially inspired by the Arab uprisings around the region.
Although more limited in scope, the protests were met with a harsh security crackdown and a detention campaign. Activists say protesters and activists are detained almost on a daily basis.
Lawyer Ahmed said more than 160 protesters were tried for lesser charges than Dawoud and Mahjoub, and only a handful were fined for disrupting public order. Ahmed said another protester was ordered flogged, a common punishment in Sudan.
"This is the first time someone has been charged with inciting the use of violence," Ahmed said.