Dozens of Sudan Protesters Killed, Hundreds Rounded Up

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir Mayardit meets Sudan's Omer al-Bashir (File Photo).

Khartoum: SECURITY forces in Sudan have killed dozens of protesters and rounded up hundreds since widespread anti-austerity protests began on December 19, 2018, human rights groups and relief agencies said.

Authorities should make known the names and whereabouts of all detainees and either charge them with an internationally recognized criminal offense, upholding due process protections, or release them at once, the organizations said.

Those arrested include protesters, journalists, doctors, lawyers and opposition party leaders.

“The number of arbitrary arrests related to the recent protests is huge, and the government seems intent on pursuing more arrests, repression, and other abuses as long as the protests continue,” said Mossaad Mohammed Ali, executive director of the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS).

The other three organizations are Human Rights Watch, the International Refugee Rights Initiative, and the Al-Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development.

“Violence won’t help Sudan overcome its many problems,” said Jehanne Henry, associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Rather than using violence and abuses to clamp down on dissent, Sudan needs to engage peacefully with protesters’ concerns.”

Sudanese National Security and Intelligence Service (NISS) officials have also detained hospital patients in the clampdown.

Others arrested include Masoud Mohamed el-Hassan and 88-year-old Siddig Yousif, both Communist party members, and Sudan Congress party leaders including Omer el-Digair. Mohamed Naji Al-Assam and Ahmed Rabi of the Sudanese Professionals Association’ Secretariat were arrested and detained on January 4 and 5, respectively. Adila Al Zaibaq and Sumaia Isaaq, activists with the Sudanese Women’s Union (SWU), were arrested on December 25 and remain in detention.

Ihsan Figiri, Amal Jabralla, Ahmed El- Sheikh, and Najeeb Najm El-Din, leaders of the Sudan Doctors Syndicate, are also detained.

Doctors’ associations reported additional detentions of doctors and violence against medical professionals and patients, especially on January 9 during protests in Omdurman.