February 25, 2019 / 5:47 PM / 3 months ago

Sudan's Bashir bans protests in latest emergency measures

FILE PHOTO: Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir delivers a speech at the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, Sudan February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/File Photo

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir banned unlicensed public gatherings and protests on Monday in a series of emergency decrees issued during the most sustained anti-government street unrest of his 30-year rule.

In a statement from the presidential palace, Bashir also announced a ban on trading or hoarding fuel products and subsidized goods, plus new regulations on trading and transporting foreign currency and gold.

On Friday, he declared a one-year state of emergency, dissolved central and state governments and called on parliament to postpone constitutional amendments that would have let him seek another term in a 2020 presidential election.

Under the decrees, security forces have the right to search any building, restrict movement of people and public transport, arrest individuals suspected of a crime related to the state of emergency, and seize assets or property during investigations.

Protesters have staged almost daily demonstrations since December, demanding that Bashir step down. Security forces have responded with tear gas, and sometimes live fire.

In his decrees, Bashir also authorized the public prosecutor to revoke any suspect’s immunity if they have it and to set up new courts to deal with cases related to the state of emergency.

Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Peter Graff and Andrew Cawthorne

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