Source AP ©

16-year-old boy gets death sentence in Sudan

A 16-year-old boy is facing the death sentence in Sudan for his role in the assassination of a local newspaper editor last year.

Al-Tayeb Abdel Aziz, who was 15 at the time of his arrest, was among 10 people sentenced to death Saturday for the killing of Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed, the editor of the pro-Islamist Al-Wifaq newspaper, Amnesty International said in a statement.

Defense attorney Kamal Omar told The Associated Press on Sunday that the ruling relied on confessions extracted under torture.

Ahmed, a controversial figure in Sudan's Muslim community, was kidnapped from his home in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in September 2006 and beheaded, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

He angered Islamists in 2005 when his newspaper republished an article from the Internet that questioned the lineage of the Prophet Muhammad. The article upset Muslims of different sects, and some gathered in protest demanding Ahmed's execution. The editor eventually apologized in a letter to the press, saying he did not intend to insult the prophet.

Many at the time of Ahmed's murder saw similarities to al-Qaida-type killings in Iraq, suspecting radical Islamic militants were involved in the crime.

Ahmed had also criticized armed groups in Sudan's war-ravaged western region of Darfur and questioned the stories of rape and sexual violence against women there.

Sudanese authorities detained 19 people - most from Darfur - in connection with the killing. Nine were later released for lack of evidence.

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