A Sudanese court Aug. 18 sentenced eight Darfur rebels to death, including the half-brother of Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) leader Khalil Ibrahim. Abdul Aziz Ashur and others were found guilty on charges related to a May rebel attack on Khartoum, in which at least 200 died. In June, Sudanese security forces arrested more than 100 JEM members in connection with the attack. Later that month, 39 accused Darfur rebels appeared before special courts to be tried under a 2001 anti-terrorism law.
Sudanese officials accuse JEM members of terrorism, rebellion and conspiring against the constitution. In June, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report detailing detainee abuse in the wake of the May 10 rebel attack. The report called on the Sudanese government to identify the prisoners detained in connection with the attack, and to release any detainees who have no connection to rebel activities. (Jurist, Aug. 18)