Security forces fire tear gas as more protests hit Sudanese cities

Sudanese protesters

"The Government of Sudan must also take immediate action to stop the practice of shooting protesters and respect the Sudanese people's right to freedom of expression", said Sarah Jackson, the human rights group's Deputy Director for East Africa.

"The police and other security forces still have the lead and continue their professional handling of the protests", he stressed.

Anti-government demonstrations first erupted in towns and villages before spreading to Khartoum last month.

Protest organisers have called for near daily demonstrations across the country against Bashir this week, calling it a "Week of Uprising".

The commission's statement came amid another day of anti-government protests, which began on 19 December when the government tripled the price of bread.

Police have fired tear gas at protesters in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, and the western war-torn region of Darfur after organisers called for nationwide rallies against President Omar al-Bashir.

At least 22 people have been killed during the protests, including two security personnel, according to the authorities.

Darfur has remained largely calm since previous year, with no anti-government demonstration held so far even as protesters staged hundreds of rallies in other cities that have been swiftly broken up by riot police.

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Three demonstrators were killed during protests on Thursday and Amnesty International accused security forces of chasing injured victims into the Omdurman hospital.

Repeated shortages of food and fuel have been reported in several cities, including Khartoum, while the costs of foods and medicines have more than doubled.

The crackdown has drawn worldwide criticism, with countries like Britain, Norway, Canada and the United States warning Khartoum that its actions could "have an impact" on its relations with their governments.

Bashir has blamed the violence during the protests on "conspirators" without naming them.

The United States lifted 20-year-old trade sanctions on Sudan in October 2017, but many investors continue to shun a country still listed by Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism.

A nation of 40 million people, Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of three quarters of its oil output - its main source of foreign currency - when South Sudan seceded in 2011.

"Those who tried to destroy Sudan. put conditions on us to solve our problems, I tell them that our dignity is more than the price of dollars", Bashir said.

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