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Arrests of human rights defenders alongside repressionunnamed

Ongoing crackdown on freedoms of assembly and association

 


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19 January 2018

Sudan: Ongoing crackdown on freedoms of assembly and association – Arrests of human rights defenders alongside repression, killings and several injuries

Sudanese authorities are continuing a nationwide crackdown against protesters and human rights defenders, through arrests and the use of excessive force resulting in killings. Human rights defender Amal Habani was arrested on 16 January 2018 and taken to an undisclosed location by security forces in Khartoum. Human rights defender Nahid Jabrallah was arrested during a protest on 16 January 2018.  Human rights defender Mohamed Aldouma was arrested during a protest in Omdurman on 17 January 2018.

Amal Habani is the coordinator of the No Oppression Against Women Initiative in Sudan, a journalist and recipient of the 2014 Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award. Nahid Jabrallah is the Director of the Sima Centre for Training and Protection of Women and Children’s Rights based in Khartoum. Mohamed Aldouma is President of the Darfur Bar Association, which has been active for several years in the protection, defense, and legal representation of victims of violence.

National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) officials have arrested an estimated 170 individuals since 11 January 2018. Four members of the No Oppression Against Women Initiative have been summoned for interrogation since 11 January 2018, including Rashida Shamseldein, Ihsan Fagiri, Najlaa Norin, and Gomaria Omer.

Other individuals arrested since 11 January 2018 include human rights defender, academic, economist, and political leader Sidgi Kabalo, who suffers from diabetes and is in need of medical care. Journalists, including Rashad Oshi from Mijhar Alsyasi newspaper and Imtnan Alrady from Alyom Altali newspaper were both arrested on 16 January 2018. AFP reporter Shawgi Abdullah Alazeim was also arrested on 17 January 2018.

In South Kordofan, an estimated 117 students have been arrested during a raid at a Aldalang University protest after Sudan Armed Forces fatally shot two students, Zahra Eltigani and Suliman Abdulkarien.

Protests against the rise in the cost of food, including bread, began on 7 January 2018 after the government made a decision to cut subsidies. The protests have been met with excessive use of force by Sudanese forces, leading to several protesters being injured, and a nation-wide crackdown against journalists and activists.

Front Line Defenders condemns the arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force by Sudanese police forces. Front Line Defenders calls for an immediate investigation into the killings and an end to the continuing repression of student activists, attorneys, protesters, and human rights defenders.

Front Line Defenders calls upon the government of Sudan to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release the human rights defenders, journalists, and students who have been detained, as Front Line Defenders believes that they are being held solely as a result of exercising their legitimate rights to participate in nonviolent protests and their rights to freedom of expression;

2. Cease targeting all human rights defenders and activists in Sudan and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.

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