Cairo: 8 January 2019
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called on the Sudanese authorities to release more than 800 protesters arrested against the backdrop of the demonstrations that broke out in Sudanese cities over the past few days.
Several Sudanese cities have witnessed wide-spread mass protests denouncing the Sudanese President’s willingness to amend the Constitution to allow him to run for another term, in addition to the increase in bread and fuel prices, and the country’s deteriorating economic conditions.
The demonstrations began on Wednesday, December 19 in the eastern city of Atbara before it spread across the country. The Sudanese authorities confronted these protests by several violations; starting with declaring the state of emergency, the arrest of dozens of opposition leaders and protesters, blocking the instant messaging services on mobile phones, arresting several journalists, and imposing tribal censorship on print newspapers.
The demonstrations became wide-spread to such an extent that it extended for 20 days, during which the authorities continued to commit violations against protesters. In a speech delivered before the parliament yesterday, the Sudanese Interior Minister announced that the total number of protesters arrested during incidents is 816.
It’s worth mentioning that Bashir, who is wanted by the international criminal court, came to power in 1989 through a military coup against the government of Sadiq al-Mahdi. During his 30-year rule, most of Sudan’s regions suffered from marginalization and the expansion of militia movements, as a result of the closure of all peaceful means of expression. South Sudan split from the North, millions of people fled their villages in Darfur and hundreds of thousands have were killed in crimes against humanity committed by Bashir’s forces against women and children in the region.
ANHRI said, “The right to peaceful protest is a right that every citizen should have in order to express his opinion and participate in decisions that would affect his daily life. We hold the Sudanese authorities responsible for the killing of 19 Sudanese citizens, and call on them to immediately release all political detainees including all those detained against the backdrop of the peaceful demonstrations that took place on 19 December, to consider the demands brought by the Sudanese Association of Professionals and deliver their complaints to the President of the Republic. “
ANHRI added, “In these very critical times, we call on the Sudanese authorities to ensure the safety of protesters, put an end to their violations of freedom of peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, which are becoming more intense rather than limited, by confrontations with protesters.