Anti-election rallies blocked, students detained in Khartoum

Many demonstrators are detained by the security apparatus during anti-election protests in the capital of Sudan and the Northern State. A student rally is met by tear gas and beatings.

Many demonstrators were detained by the security apparatus during anti-election protests in the capital of Sudan and the Northern State on Wednesday and Thursday. A rally by students in Khartoum who reject the election, to take off on Monday, was dispersed by force.

A rally led by the students of the United Popular Front (UPF) that marked the inauguration of the Leave! Campaign against the Sudanese election was met with tear gas, beatings and rubber bullets from the security forces. The rally moved from El Neelain University and passed Suq el Arabi in downtown Khartoum. The security cordoned off this area. Besides beating students with batons, they reportedly detained three students.

A student activist told Radio Dabanga that he did not know the whereabouts of these students. “They were arrested from within Suq El Arabi and taken by a Toyota Hilux without number plates to an unknown destination.” According to the activist, the detained students are Musa Mohamed Osman and Haroun Kunjoum from the Omdurman Islamic University's Faculty of Education, and El Waleed Abakar Adam, Faculty of Commerce at the University of El Neelain.

He added that the security forces were still besieging some Darfuri students’ dormitories in Khartoum and Omdurman yesterday.

Khartoum security detains more demonstrators

Both the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM-AW) and the Sudanese Congress Party as the Coordination Office of the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association in the past days have called on the Sudanese people to stage demonstrations and boycott the general election.

Also the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party publicly protested the election on Thursday morning in Khartoum. Two members were detained while holding banners that called for a boycott of the “fake election”.

“The continuation of the crackdown on freedoms of expression is clear evidence that the regime does not believe in democracy.”

In a statement, the Ba'ath Party explained it launched a silent sit-in at Kober bridge, where members peacefully raised anti-election slogans. The party confirmed that the continuation of the crackdown on freedoms of expression is “clear evidence that the regime does not believe in democracy and political and intellectual pluralism”. The names of the detained are Mubarak Kouku and Yagoub Mohamed Adam.

Students in Northern State detained

On Wednesday in Sudan's Northern State, security forces arrested four students from Dongola University, after they addressed the residents of Amri area over loudspeakers to boycott the election in the displacement areas. More than 80 of the university students who joined them have been detained in New Amri police station, according to the local youth union.

Police officials have informed the Amri Youth Union that the detainees will be transferred to the security offices in Marawi, said the union's secretary-general, Hassan Suleiman. The four students who addressed the Amri residents were Mohamed Ahmed El Fakki El Rasheed, Esam Mohamed El Khalifa Nasr, El Fadil Mohamed Aliyo, and Abdelrahman El Tireki.

Women denounce election in current situation

Sudanese women organisations have submitted a memorandum to the head of the National Election Commission in which they reject holding the election at times of war and an unstable security situation in a number of states in the country.

Representatives of eleven organisations, including the Women of the National Umma Party, the No to Women's Oppression Initiative, the Network of Media Women, and the Female Students of Darfur, handed the memo on Thursday. They refuse to participate in the election and hold the commission responsible for the results of the voting.

The organisations further condemn that the election is held amid dire economic hardship and the detentions of people under Sudanese laws that restrict freedoms.