Blocking of social media platforms in Sudan
Ongoing protests – Double standards in Europe (Press release)
The Sudanese authorities are blocking social media platforms so as to prevent further anti-government protests. Last weekend, 28 million mobile phone users and 13 million Internet users were affected when the country's most important Internet services were unavailable. Further, the authorities also blocked 45 percent of all communication facilities with targeted power cuts. "Sudan's dictator Omar Hassan al Bashir is trying to prevent his overthrow with systematic measures against Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms – a clear sign that the president is not willing to accept reforms," criticized Ulrich Delius, director of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP), in Göttingen on Tuesday. "But these blockades will not prevent further protests."
The STP strongly criticizes the fact that the international community is reluctant to comment on the protests, which have been going on since December 19, 2018. While the mass protests in Venezuela are openly backed by the governments of the EU and the US, the West has so far largely ignored the protests of young people, hundreds of thousands of women, Christians, and liberal Sufis in Sudan. "The double standards of the European Union and the United States are difficult to bear. After 30 years of dictatorship, the people of Sudan have a right to democracy and a rule of law," Delius stated. Last week alone, six people got killed in the course of the protests, and 2,496 were arrested. All in all, a total number of 66 people have so far been killed in crackdowns on protests. The EU must not remain silent about this situation so as not to jeopardize its cooperation with the Sudanese government regarding measures to keep away refugees and migrants.
The paramilitary "Rapid Support Forces" (RSF) were involved in the crackdowns as well, under command of the national intelligence agency. Large parts of the RSF had also participated in the genocide crimes in Darfur (2003-2018). With knowledge of the EU, the militia patrolled the state borders to keep the people from fleeing to Europe. The protests are not limited to the capital, Khartoum. There are also protests in the civil war zones of Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and the Blue Nile.
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