[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 15:57 GMT 16:57 UK
Beheaded Sudan editor is buried
Mohammed Taha
Mohammed Taha escaped an assassination attempt in 2000
Thousands of mourners have attended the funeral of the Sudanese newspaper editor whose beheaded body was found in Khartoum after he was kidnapped.

Many people wept openly as Mohammed Taha's body was carried on a wooden bed from his home to the cemetery.

The BBC's Alfred Taban says the killing has shocked Sudan. Although Mr Taha had criticised many different groups, they are all united in mourning him.

Mr Taha's paper angered Islamists last year and some have been arrested.

Our correspondent says journalists in Sudan are scared, fearing they could be next if they do something to annoy the Islamic fundamentalists.

They organised demonstrations against Mr Taha last year after his al-Wifaq paper reprinted an article questioning the parentage of the prophet Muhammad.

He was put on trial for blasphemy but the charges were later dropped.

However, police say they have not found the motive for the killing.

Mr Taha was also the target of an assassination attempt in 2000, after writing an article which criticised the ruling National Congress Party.

'Cowardly murder'

The state-owned Sudan Vision newspaper was printed in black and white out of respect for Mr Taha's funeral, reports Reuters news agency.

"Something must be done before the abduction phenomenon develops into a practice," it warned.

Protesters clash with police
Last year protesters clashed with police at Mr Taha's trial

Media freedom lobby group Reporters Without Borders condemned the kidnapping and "cowardly murder" of Mr Taha.

It urged Sudanese authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Correspondents say the killing of Mr Taha 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 law.


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific