Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has announced emergency measures, banning unauthorized public gatherings and granting sweeping new powers to police to end unprecedented street protests against his 30-year rule.
Security forces have been granted the power to raid any building, restrict the movement of people and public transport, detain individuals suspected of a crime related to the state of emergency — which was declared last week — and seize assets or property during probes.
Prosecutors have also been given the authority to strip people such as lawmakers and military officials of immunity and create special emergency courts.
Publishing news that “harms the state or citizens, or calls for undermining the constitutional system” has also been outlawed.
Violators could face up to 10 years in prison.
Bashir has also banned trading or hoarding fuel products and subsidized goods, and carrying more than 3,000 dollars in local currency or 150 grams of gold when leaving the country.
Demonstrations erupted in Sudan more than two months ago over price hikes and shortages of food and fuel. The rallies first erupted in the farming town of Atbara after cash-strapped Khartoum cut a vital subsidy on bread and tripled its price. The move angered people and triggered demonstrations, which swiftly spiraled into nationwide protests calling on Bashir to step down.
The newly announced measures come as part of a one-year state of emergency declared on Friday to counter the protests.
Bashir has also urged lawmakers to postpone controversial constitutional amendments that would allow him to run for another term in a presidential election in 2020, and dissolved the central and state governments.
Despite the state of emergency decree, protests continued to rock the African country, with the latest having been held on Monday, when hundreds of students protested inside a university campus.
Witnesses said that security forces used tear gas against the protesters, adding that some students burned tires outside the campus gate. Security forces also dispersed a separate protest in the upscale Maamoura district in eastern Khartoum on Monday night, according to witnesses.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Activists say about 60 people have been killed during protests, which erupted on December 19, while authorities put the death toll at 32, including three security personnel.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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