Sudanese man 'burns himself alive' in protest against president
A Sudanese man has attempted to self-immolate in the capital Khartoum after shouting criticism of longtime Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir.
The man set himself on fire this week near the presidential palace in the latest act of protest against the Sudanese government.
"I am Sudanese and Bashir is a dictator," he reportedly shouted before he made the suicide attempt.
Eyewitness to the incident told The New Arab that the man poured gasoline on himself and set himself ablaze, prompting onlookers to intervene to put out the flames.
They said that the 31-year-old appeared to have recently received IV treatment, adding that police arrived at the scene and transported the man, who was in critical condition, to hospital.
The extraordinary act was the first incident of self-immolation in the country.
In 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohammad Bouazizi famously set himself on fire in protest of high prices and poor living conditions, sparking demonstrations which led to the ousting of longtime leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
Bouazizi's act triggered a wave of copycat incidents across the region with similar incidents taking place in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes and genocide related to the conflict in his country, has been accused of systematic repression by his opponents.
In December, he vowed to brutally crush anti-government protests, warning that authorities would crack down on demonstrators as the government did in the bloody 2013 suppression of opposition protests.
His warning came as opposition activists had issued a call to hold a nationwide strike against a government decision to cut fuel subsidies that led to rising prices for goods including medicines.
In 2013, dozens of people were killed in a government crackdown on street protests following popular anger at an earlier round of subsidy cuts.
Rights groups say about 200 lives were lost in that crackdown, while the government puts the death toll at less than 100.