Sudan: Arrests of protesters in Khartoum
Human rights organization accuses Sudanese regime of deliberately misleading the world public (Press Release)
Following the arrest of numerous politicians and democracy activists in Sudan, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) accuses the regime in Khartoum of deliberately misleading the world public about the extent of the persecution of critics and oppositionists. On Tuesday, the influential intelligence chief of Sudan, Salah Ghosh, had announced that all detained protesters had been set free. However, the STP received information that numerous activists were arrested almost immediately after, on Wednesday and Thursday. "Sudan's government is relying on repression rather than trying to initiate reforms to put an end to the nationwide wave of protests. Despite reassuring statements, there are many examples of democracy activists and journalists who were intimidated or silenced," criticized Ulrich Delius, the STP's director, in Göttingen on Friday.
The prominent human rights lawyer Kamal El Jazuli is one of the victims of the new wave of arrests. His whereabouts are unknown. Further, the activists Sarah Ibrahim and Mariam Mahjoub Sharif as well as several dozen other demonstrators were arrested. Mariam Sadiq El Mahdi – well-known representative of the Umma Party and daughter of the last democratically elected Prime Minister, Sadiq El Mahdi – was temporarily arrested.
More than 1,000 people have been detained since the beginning of the protests in Sudan on December 19, 2018, including at least 25 doctors who had protested against government policy or provided medical care to demonstrators. A total number of 186 detainees were released on Tuesday evening – but the doctors are not among them. Those who were released reported being tortured by NISS while in custody. Further, they were forced to sign a letter stating that they would not participate in any more protests. Many of the detained young people were threatened with heavy fines or prison sentences of up to five years if they were to attend demonstrations again. In order to prevent the dissemination of critical reports about mass protests, NISS systematically intimidates Sudanese media houses or confiscates newspapers.
On Thursday, demonstrations took place in Khartoum again. More than 300 university lecturers and 531 university staff published a statement demanding Bashir to resign and to make way for a transitional government. The security forces used tear gas against the protesters.
Header image: United Nations Photo via Flickr.