Civil society responds to attacks on protesters

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(16 May 2019) The undersigned Sudanese and African civil society organisations write to urge the African Union to take urgent action following events this week in Sudan.

On 15 May, an unidentified militia fired live ammunition near McNimer bridge in an attempt to clear roadblocks and disperse protestors. At the time of writing this letter, at least eight people were reported to have been injured in the attack but the number is likely to be higher. This is the second attack made against peaceful protestors this week and follows an attack on 13 May, in which at least five demonstrators and one military official were killed and over 100 people injured in Khartoum. Live ammunition and tear gas was used against protestors at Nile Avenue, a few blocks away from sit-in at army headquarters in an attempt to break up the protest. The attack took place as protestors were breaking their Ramadan fast in the evening and the Transitional Military Council (TMC) was only able to send in army reinforcements hours later. On 4 May, protests in Nyala, South Darfur were dispersed by counter revolutionary forces which resulted in one civilian casualty and injuries.

Read the full letter.

SIHA: Massacre on Nile Street – Peaceful Protesters in Khartoum Shot at by Security Militias

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(14 May 2019) Last night – May 13th 2019 in Khartoum, the enduring sit-in continued to peacefully await a power transition to civilian government. As observed, the sit-in has backed the negotiation process between the Alliance for Freedom and Change and the Sudanese Military Council (MTC). Many Sudanese citizens attend the Iftar meals held at the sit-in, marking the end of the day of fasting in a peaceful and communal setting.

However, last night was disturbed by sounds of live ammunition echoing from multiple directions on Nile Street, which had recently been added to the territory of the sit-in. Heavy teargas across the sit-in area added to the panic caused by the noise of live ammunition – and as the situation became more fraught many protesters ran towards the sit-in barriers in alarm at this serious attempt to dissolve the sit-in and harm the protesters. A few moments later, the source of the gunfire sounds were identified and a long line of casualties being carried by fellow protesters appeared to come from the Nile Street side of the occupied sit-in area. The mobile clinics at the sit-in area were quickly filled, and ambulances arrived taking the injured to hospitals across Khartoum. The attacks on civilians lasted between 6:15pm and midnight. Medical sources say that there are 125 people known to have been injured by the attacks.

This morning of May 14th, it was reported by the medical doctors’ committee operating inside the sit-in area that five (5) protesters and one (1) military officer were shot in the head and chest and lost their lives.

Their names are listed below: 

  • Ruba Mohamed of 17 years (the only female);
  • Mohamed Ibrahim of 25 years;  
  • Mohamed Hassan of 21 years;  
  • Ahmed Ibrahim of 20 years; 
  • Mudathir ElShikh of 30 years; 
  • An Army Officer (a male whose name has not been released yet); 

According to many eye-witnesses, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) who for the tenure of the sit-in has surrounded the sit in – withdrew swiftly just before the shooting started. Many eye-witnesses on Nile Street also reported that they were shot at by the same Rapid Support Forces (RSF) personnel based on their uniform and type of vehicles. Additionally, this morning of May 14th, hundreds of the RSF fighters who are stationed around Khartoum especially on the bridges were seen holding whips and flogging civilians on public bridges and pedestrian walkways.

In the press conference held by the military council, Hashim Abd al-Muttalib Mohammad Babikir, a member of the council blamed the peaceful protesters at the sit-in, accusing people of provoking military personnel which consequentially led them to attempt to dissolve the sit in.

During the time of the attack, it was estimated that almost one million people of all walks of life, gender, ages and cultural backgrounds – including families with young children – were having their Ramadan meal within the sit-in area. The protesters’ demands for a civilian government and peaceful democratic transformation have been backed and supported by Sudanese from across the country.

The Sudan Military Council currently in control of the country must be held accountable for the massacre that occurred in Khartoum yesterday. This situation of systemic extra judicial killing by Sudanese security forces rises to levels of crimes against humanity according to international law. The Alliance for Freedom and Change must speak out categorically against these atrocities; otherwise it too will bear responsibility for the lives lost in these attempts to stop the protesters from struggling for justice.

ACJPS: Sudanese Public Order: A law designed to control people, not protect morality

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(9 May 2019) Since 1989, Sudan has witnessed a new era (under Inghaz Government) which based its rule on the philosophy of Political Islam, which introduced the so called “civilization project” as a political manifesto. The civilization Project aimed to enforce the ‘Islamic religious State’. Religious state contradicts the cultural, social, historical and ethnic components of Sudanese society, which is characterized by pluralism and diversity, what questioned its legitimacy.

Read the full statement.

ACJPS: Sudan weekly update

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The Transitional Military Council and opposition agree on a joint council as the African Union extends deadline for the third time.

(6 May 2019) The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has documented a number of events that has taken place between 25 to 30 April 2019, as peaceful protesters in Sudan continue with their demand for a civilian-led transitionary council.

Read the full statement.

SIHA: VIOLENCE AGAINST PEACEFUL PROTESTERS IN NYALA, SOUTH DARFUR

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(6 May 2019) Horrifying reports of violence against peaceful protesters by police in Nyala, South Darfur show that the government there continues its efforts to roll back the gains of the revolution. The police in Nyala used live ammunition and tear gas to attempt to clear the sit in that has been taking place outside the Nyala army head-quarters since 6th April, 2019. It is reported that 8 people were seriously injured by live ammunition, many more lost consciousness and were injured by the teargas. One man died this morning (May 5th, 2019) as a result of his gunshot wounds. There are also reports that the military assisted with attempts to break up the sit in by beating protesters with canes.

The Governor of South Darfur Major General Hashim Khalid Mahmoud claims that his decision to ban peaceful protests and efforts to disperse the ongoing sit-in are made to ensure “security” in the area.

The Governor of South Darfur Major General Hashim Khalid Mahmoud claims that his decision to ban peaceful protests and efforts to disperse the ongoing sit-in are made to ensure “security” in the area.

The Governor’s actions come just days after the administration in Nyala issued emergency orders prohibiting nudity, indecent dressing, and the selling of alcohol subject to fines and imprisonment, along the lines of the old regime’s public order laws. These actions show that the government in Nyala has not yet made its peace with revolutionary change and Sudan’s transformation to peace and democracy, as they continue to uphold the values of the ousted regime of Omar al-Bashir. This includes violence and repression against all civilians, but particularly women and marginalized ethnic groups.

We at SIHA condemn these actions, and call for increased scrutiny to push for revolutionary change across Sudan, especially in Darfur. We demand the Peace and Security Council at the African Union and the international community to take a firm stand in order to further stop all forms of violations against the people of Darfur who have suffered for decades as a result of the brutality of Bashir regime and Sudan’s political Islamist government.

Civil society calls for strong AU support for civilian transition in Sudan

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(29 April 2019) We, the undersigned Sudanese and African civil society organizations write to urge the African Union to take a strong stand with the people of Sudan, demanding an expeditious transfer of governmental authority from the current Transitional Military Council and setting up comprehensive mediation and support mechanisms that will support a sustainable transition to democratic rule.

Read the full letter here.

Letter to the AU Peace and Security Council

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(29 April 2019) As you are aware, the Sudanese people persistently protested and bravely stood against the former regime until its downfall on 11 April 2019. During the last four months of the Sudanese uprising, one of the key demands of the protesters has been the peaceful and immediate handover of political power to the pro-democracy political forces that led the uprising and the establishment of civilian rule after 30 years of military dictatorship. This demand was clearly articulated by the protestors and the Forces of Freedom and Change which orchestrated the demonstrations from13th December 2018 until today. The Sudanese people consider the transfer of political power from the military to a civilian-led transitional authority as an assurance that their aspirations for freedom, peace and justice will be met.

Read the full letter here.

Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum

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(24 April 2019) We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, congratulate the people of Sudan on their great landmark December-April revolution and we send our prayers to the souls of all Sudan martyrs and victims of war and those who lost their lives while peacefully protesting and perusing a peaceful and democratic Sudan and those whom we lost, as a result of the miserable laws and policies of Sudan Salvation regime since June 30, 1989.

Read the full statement.

SKBN CU: Humanitarian Update April 2019

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“Macroeconomic conditions, along with the issuing of emergency
law, and troop build-up seen along certain parts of the frontlines are
having an effect on the markets in the SPLM-N controlled areas. Not
only are traders fewer in some areas but CU monitors report a
heightened level of tension and fear among crossline communities
related to the insecurity in government-controlled areas, security
restrictions imposed through the emergency law which impedes on free
movement and trade.”

Read the full update in English or Arabic.

Arab Coalition for Sudan deplores appointment of rapid support militia leader as a member of the Transitional Military Council

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(19 April 2019) The Sudanese people have won a great victory in their steadfastness and steadfastness in their principles and adherence to their demands to overthrow the totalitarian regime and dismantle its institutions and to try its symbols through its peaceful revolution which it carried out over the past four months. This culminated in a large sit-in before the General Command of the Armed People’s Forces recently on 6 April which is same date in April 1985, which toppled the regime of former President Jaafar Nimeiri, and a number of states witnessed demonstrations and sit-ins similar, and the members of the armed forces officers and soldiers of the rebels and joined the sit-in, and despite the success of the sit-in to achieve a partial and limited change, but has not satisfy the demands of the Sudanese people.

Read the full release in Arabic or English.

IAPL: 4 Sudanese lawyers denied visas by Egypt for African Commission for Human & Peoples’ Rights Session

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(April 19, 2019) The African Commission for Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) 64th Session on and will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. The host country’s embassies in Khartoum and Kampala refused to grant four Sudanese lawyers entry visas to participate: 1- Abdelrahman Mohamed Al Gasim /Kampala 2- Awad Basha Omer Kortikaila / Khartoum 3- Saeed Abdullah Sudan Hubilla/ Khartoum 4- Nasreldein Musa Gomna Idris/ Khartoum This behavior has never happened at any previous session, all host countries are working hard to facilitate the travel of all participants.

Read the full statement.

ACJPS: Hundreds of peaceful protesters and activists released from detention, including Mohamed Hassan Alim and Hisham Ali Mohammed Ali

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(17 April 2019) African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) has received reliable information indicating that more than 800 peaceful protesters and activists have been released after spending more than 2 months in custody without charge. Their release on 13 April 2019 comes after the newly appointed head of the transitional military council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan ordered the release of all political prisoners detained under the emergency declaration announced by the toppled Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir in February 2019.  Detainees were arrested between December 2018 and April 2019 by security agents following their actual or suspected participation in the anti-government protests which have lasted for months since 19 December 2018.

Read the full press release.

17 Civil Society Organisations Call for UNSC Action on Sudan Coup

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We, the undersigned Sudanese, African and International civil society organizations write to express our solidarity with the people of Sudan who, over the past several months, have been calling for a peaceful, democratic transition. This effort has been endangered by the 11 April military coup. Although recent statements from the military transitional council are encouraging, the Security Council must not forget that a military regime is still in power and must take action to ensure a speedy transition to civilian authority and to sustain democratic reform. As the Troika of the United States, United Kingdom and Norway said on 14 April, “To date, the legitimate change that the Sudanese people are demanding has not been achieved. It is vital that that the authorities listen to the calls from the Sudanese people.”

Read the full letter.

African and Sudanese Civil Society Call for Strong Response to Coup in Sudan

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(12 April 2019) We, the undersigned Sudanese and African civil society organizations write with deep concern about the military takeover in Sudan on 11 April 2019. The Sudanese people’s quest for peace and democratic change has propelled country wide protests since December 2018, which developed on 6 April 2019 into massive protests including a sit-in at the military headquarters in Khartoum which continues to the present moment. Although the people of Sudan have been calling for an end to the regime of President Omar Al Bashir, this is not how they wanted it to happen. Over his 30 year tenure, President Bashir has overseen the waging of several wars that have primarily targeted civilians, severe repression of political opposition and civil society, shrinking of civil society space and the secession of South Sudan. The recent announcement of a military transitional council headed by Awad ibn Auf, the former vice president and minister of defense under Bashir’s regime, however, represents an attempt by the regime to ensure its survival by sacrificing Bashir. Their imposition of a two year transitional period headed by the military, dissolution of the national assembly, suspension of the 2005 Constitution and imposition of a state of emergency and lack of a plan for transition to civilian rule, however, indicate that they do not share the protester’s goal of a peaceful and democratic Sudan. As a result, protestors, including both civic and political forces, have remained in the streets calling for change and a civilian transitional government.

Read the full letter.

Sudan: The army must respect legitimate demands for democracy and accountability

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(Paris, Kampala) 12 April 2019 – FIDH and ACJPS consider that Omar Al-Bashir’s removal from power, ending his 30-year dictatorial regime, should pave the way to establish democracy and the rule of law in Sudan. Our organizations are deeply concerned by the statements made by the Vice President and Minister of Defence, Awad Ibn Ouf, announcing the suspension of the Constitution and the imposition of a curfew and state of emergency. Ibn Ouf also announced the creation of a military council mandated to oversee a two-year transitional period. These measures seriously risk causing the deterioration of the political and security climate in Sudan.

Read the full press release.

Open letter from civil society to the international community on the current situation in Sudan

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(10 April 2019) What has happened in Sudan since 6 April can leave no doubt as to the seriousness of the Sudanese people to dismiss a regime that has remained in power for 30 years through its dependence on the tools of dictatorship, kleptocracy, patronage, fear and wide-scale human rights abuse. Citizens in the hundreds of thousands went to the streets across the country on the 6th of April; a sit-in around the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) headquarters in Khartoum continues with unprecedented numbers of protesters gathered as we write. Whole families have come, along with new social change movements, youth, women, traditional opposition groups, secularists, Islamists – all demanding change.

Read the full letter.

SPA: Letter to all International and Regional Actors in Sudan

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(9 April 2019) In the early hours of today, the 9th of April 2019, forces of the National
Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), backed with Islamist militias, attacked
peaceful protestors in front of the Headquarters of the Armed Forces, where a
massive sit-in began on the 6th of April and continues to this moment. This
attack, which lasted for over two hours, was the third of its kind since the
beginning of the sit-in, but this time it was more violent and on a larger scale,
leading to several casualties. Members of the armed forces intervened again to
protect the protestors but after some delay. NISS forces are still attacking groups
of peaceful protestors who are trying to join the sit-in.

Read the full statement.

The Sudanese government must stop using excessive force against peaceful protests at the army HQ in Khartoum

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(10 April 2019) Since December 2018, there have been country-wide mass demonstrations in Sudan. These demonstrations are now focused around the army HQ street in Khartoum, a place that has come to symbolise the 1985 April Revolution. Thousands of people have been camped outside the army HQ since the night of 6th April, despite the use of tear gas and live ammunition by the security services.

Read the full press release.

PHR: Intimidation and Persecution: Sudan’s Attacks on Peaceful Protesters and Physicians

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(5 April 2019) Since Sudanese protesters took to the streets in December 2018 to demonstrate against government corruption, economic mismanagement, and brutal repression, forces loyal to the government of President Omar al-Bashir have carried out massive violations of human rights. Peaceful protesters have been attacked by government security forces using disproportionate, unnecessary, and sometimes lethal force. They have been arrested and detained without charges and denied access to their families or medical care. Government security forces and police have prevented medical personnel from attending to the wounded and, in many cases, have arrested and detained these personnel, conducted incursions and attacks inside medical facilities, and targeted, injured, and even killed health workers while they have been carrying out their medical duties or participating in the protest movement.

Read the full release and report.

ACJPS: Darfur Region: NISS targets peaceful protesters with arbitrary arrests and prolonged detention

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(5 April 2019) Since the last week of March 2019, the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) of Darfur region has launched a campaign of arrest, targeting political and civil activists for actual or suspected participation in the ongoing anti-government protests. The campaign followed the protests of 28 March 2019 announced by Sudanese Professional Association (SPA) across Sudan, where several peaceful protesters were detained by NISS. Reliable information indicates that more than 41 protests broke out across Sudan following the announcement by SPA.

Read the full press release.

ACJPS: Sudan Protests: NISS introduces a new tactic targeting chief-editors after lifting censorship against four newspapers

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(4 April 2019) On 17 March 2019, the National Intelligence Security Services (NISS) lifted a pre-publication censorship imposed on Algareeda, Albaath, Al Maidan and Akhbar Al-Watan newspapers between 20 December 2018 and 11 March 2019. The censorship was lifted after NISS introduced new measures to restrict the media including, a pledge by the chief editors to remain fully responsible for actions of the newspaper under the jurisdiction of the emergency decree announced by President Omar al-Bashir on 25 February 2019. The decree imposes restrictions on the media by prohibiting publication of news that “harms the state or citizens, or calls for undermining the constitutional system”.

Read the full press release.