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Four more opposition leaders detained in Sudan

February 4 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Asma Mahmoud (67) answers AFP journalist's questions at her home in Khartoum on February 24, 2014 (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)
Asma Mahmoud (67) answers AFP journalist's questions at her home in Khartoum on February 24, 2014 (Ashraf Shazly/AFP)

Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) detained more opposition leaders in Khartoum on Thursday.

Asma Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, Secretary-General of the Republican Party, Kamal Ismail, head of the National Alliance Party, and lawyer Mohamed El Hafiz were held during a meeting of opposition forces in El Manshiya in Khartoum on Thursday evening.

Mohamed Faroug, spokesman for the members of the Sudan Call (a communique calling for regime change, signed by the main opposition forces in December 2014) was detained from his home on the same evening.

In a press statement on Friday, the allied opposition said they consider the arrests “a desperate attempt by the regime to suppress peaceful protests against its starvation budget.

“The arbitrary detentions only confirm the opposition's conviction that the regime does not deserve one day's patience from the people,” the statement reads.

The opposition forces further emphasised that they will continue organising demonstrations against the government “until the intifada will free them from the fascist security apparatus and the corrupt regime”.

Mass protests

Sudan’s opposition parties began calling for mass rallies in the country in early January, in protest against new austerity measures that caused the prices of basic consumer goods to double, and in a number of commodities, to triple.

“The arbitrary detentions only confirm the opposition's conviction that the regime does not deserve one day's patience from the people.”  - Opposition leaders

The Communist Party of Sudan (CPoS), the National Umma Party (NUP), and the allied opposition organised demonstrations in Khartoum, Omdurman, and Khartoum North, that all were dispersed by security troops and riot police. Several other Sudanese towns witnessed protests as well.

The authorities detained numerous opposition leaders in the country’s capital, including Omar El Digeir, President of the Sudanese Congress Party, Mohamed Mukhtar El Khateeb, CPoS Secretary-General, Mohamed Abdallah El Doma, NUP Co-Vice President and chairman of the Darfur Bar Association, Maj. Gen. Fadlallah Burma Nasir, NUP Co-Vice-President, and Sara Nugdallah, NUP Secretary-General. A number of them have been transferred to prisons in Darfur.

More than 450 political activists and journalists are currently being held by the NISS in the country. In most cases, relatives or lawyers have not been allowed to visit them or hand medicines and clothes. Some of the detainees have been reportedly subjected to torture.

Regime collapsing’

“The regime is collapsing after losing control on the country’s economy and the state institutions,” lawyer and head of the Broad National Front, Ali Mahmoud Hasanein, told Radio Dabanga.

“The authorities genuinely expect a nationwide uprising of the Sudanese people. To prevent this, they detained most of the opposition leaders,” he said.

“However, no matter how many activists they arrest and how much violence they use against them, the protests will continue, because the people are the ones who take to the streets for the sake of survival.”

He added that that they called on the members of the Sudan Armed Forces and the police “to align with the people and not to attack peaceful protesters”.

“The regime is collapsing after losing control on the country’s economy and the state institutions.” - Lawyer

Legal action

In a statement on Friday, the Democratic Lawyers Alliance of Lawyers (DLA) called for the immediate release of all political activists being held in the country, including 11 of its own members.

The lawyers stated that they will make use of “all legal means for the release of all political detainees”.

Lawyer Mahmoud El Sheikh, member of the DLA media committee, told this station that the people “have the right to stage peaceful demonstrations against the ridiculously high costs of living.

“The use of excessive violence against them and the detention of hundreds of party leaders, activists, and demonstrators violate the Bill of Rights in the Constitution,” he said. “Apart from working to release the political detainees, the DLA will continue to support the calls for the restoration of democracy in the country.”


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