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Anger over police statement on Sudan protesters

October 28 - 2022 KHARTOUM
Armed police on top of containers blocking the bridges to cut off the marches of the millions (social media/Dalia El Tahir)
Armed police on top of containers blocking the bridges to cut off the marches of the millions (social media/Dalia El Tahir)

After the mass demonstrations on October 25, marking the first anniversary of the 2021 military coup, the Sudanese Police Force issued a statement calling the pro-democracy protesters “trained forces with armed military formations”. Resistance Committees, journalists, doctors, and opposition groups rejected the false accusations.

On Tuesday, Sudan witnessed mass demonstrations throughout the country condemning the October 25, 2021, military coup on its first anniversary. At least one protester was killed by the police during the protests.

In a statement by the Head of the Sudanese Police Force, pro-democracy protesters were described as “trained forces with armed military formations, that espouse violence and sabotage”.

Many groups, including the Emergency Lawyers, Forces for Freedom and Change, and the Sudanese Congress Party condemned the statement.

The Khartoum Resistance Committees published a statement a day after the protests in which they said that the police labelling relied on the protesters’ banners and protective gear to make that “false assessment”.

Protesters often wear masks and gloves to protect themselves from police violence, including the excessive use of tear gas. In the first 9 month, roughly, more than 7,000 protesters had been injured to the extent that they needed hospital treatment and at least 116 has lost their lives by August this year.

“It’s a defining mark of authoritarian regimes to turn weapons bought by the people’s wealth against the people themselves,” the Resistance Committees’ statement read.

“The Sudanese Police Forces have continuously failed to comprehend and fulfill their role as a civilian force established to protect the people. Rather, it continues to behave as a brutal militia with an insatiable appetite for aborting acts of freedom.”

'The Sudanese Police Forces have continuously failed to comprehend and fulfill their role as a civilian force' - Khartoum Resistance Committees

They also said that it is “a habit of the Sudanese Police Forces to fabricate stories about peaceful protests in order to legitimise shameful acts against them; acts such as arbitrary detention, torture, and murder”.

“As the number of those killed reaches 120 martyrs since the October 25th 2021 coup, and thousands since 2019, our determination shall not wane, nor shall we be discouraged from achieving our goal of establishing full civilian democratic rule founded on the pillars of freedom, justice, and peace,” the committees warned.

Armed police facing an unarmed protester from containers blocking the bridges to cut off the marches
(social media/Dalia El Tahir)

 

Documented track record of violence

The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) also issued a statement on Wednesday to condemn the allegations and accusations.

The CCSD writes that it was “not surprised by such accusations” by the police aimed at stigmatising the “peaceful and valiant movement” and “providing pretexts for the excessive violence they use,” including confronting protesters with live ammunition, tear gas, and stun grenades and running them over with armoured vehicles.

“We are not surprised and we will never forget,” the doctors write. “The police forces have a record of an alarming number of human rights violations, and they have presented a great hostile and authoritarian spirit in the face of peaceful revolutionaries.”

'The police forces have a record of an alarming number of human rights violations' - CCSD

They also warned that the violations by security forces have been documented by eyewitnesses, surveillance cameras, recorded videos, and live broadcast videos.

“We, of the SDCC, confirm that all violations committed or that will be committed against our people by these forces are monitored and documented by us and our partners from other revolutionary bodies”, they concluded their statement.

Journalist Dalia El Tahir also pointed at the hypocrisy of the police statement, stressing that it is the police who kill people and who are completely armed and uniformed. Her post was accompanied by photos of armed police on containers used to block bridges in Khartoum to cut off the marches.

 


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