Last year protesters clashed with
police at Mr Taha’s trial
The beheaded body of a
Sudanese newspaper editor has been found on the outskirts of the
Mohammed Taha ran the al-Wifaq
paper and was taken from his home on Tuesday night by an unknown group
of armed men.
Last year, he was put on trial
for blasphemy after his
pro-government paper reprinted an article questioning the parentage of
the prophet Muhammad.
The charges were
later dropped but if convicted of blasphemy under Sharia law, he could
have been put to death.
The BBC’s Jonah Fisher in
Khartoum says no-one has
claimed responsibility but suspicion will immediately turn to Sudan’s
hardline Islamic groups.
In May last year, thousands of
outside a courtroom in central Khartoum calling for Mr Taha to be put
After several emotionally charged
days the case was adjourned and later quietly dropped.
Our correspondent says the
killing of Mr Taha, an ally
of Khartoum’s Islamist government, will raise fears that extremist
groups are once again active in Sudan.
Sudan provided a home for
al-Qaeda leader Osama bin
Laden in the 1990s and the country is still on the United States’ list
of states sponsoring terrorism.
Khartoum has been
governed by strict Islamic Sharia law
since 1983 – but our correspondent says that in recent years courts
have shown a degree of flexibility in their interpretations of Islamic