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More than 10 medics, 25 SCP leaders held incommunicado in Sudan

November 17 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Khalid Omar Yousef, deputy head of the Sudanese Congress Party speaks in a public meeting in El Deim in Khartoum on 4 November 2016. He was held by security agents at his home in the afternoon (Sudan Tribune)
Khalid Omar Yousef, deputy head of the Sudanese Congress Party speaks in a public meeting in El Deim in Khartoum on 4 November 2016. He was held by security agents at his home in the afternoon (Sudan Tribune)

On Tuesday, a member of the Sudanese parliament demanded that the speaker summon the Minister of Justice concerning the continued detention of political activists without charges.

Independent MP Mubarak El Nur told reporters in Khartoum that he has demanded Justice Minister Awad El Hassan El Nur to appear at the parliament for a questioning about the recent detentions by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

He said that the activists who are being held incommunicado in the various detention centres of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), are “members of legally registered political parties and constitutionally and legally entitled to exercise political activities.

“Therefore they should either be charged and taken to trial, or be released immediately”.

Following new economic measures that took effect on 4 November, the prices for airlines, bus transportation and consumer goods increased sharply. Limited demonstrations broke out in several Sudanese towns. NISS officers detained a number of protesters, including the president of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCP), his deputy, the party’s secretary-general, and 22 other leading members.

On Wednesday, prominent SCP member Dr El Fateh El Sayed told Radio Dabanga that the party will continue its public protests “against the Khartoum regime’s policies despite the ongoing crackdown on the freedom of speech”.

“The party leadership has failed to get in contact with the detainees whose whereabouts is not known, even to their families,” he reported, and announced that the SCP “plans to file a constitutional complaint against the [ruling] National Congress Party because of the violations of the Sudanese Constitution and other laws”.

National Dialogue

The Popular Congress Party (PCP), member of the 7+7 National Dialogue Committee, also condemned the detentions of “dozens of leaders and members of political parties, medical doctors, and other activists by the national security apparatus”.

Kamal Omar, the political secretary of the PCP described the detention campaign as “an assault on civil liberties and a violation of the outputs of National Dialogue”.

Medical strike

Dr Omar Allam Shawrab, Acting Secretary-General of the Sudanese Doctors’ Central Committee (SDCC) reported to this station that the strike of medical doctors at more than 75 state hospitals in Sudan will continue according to the three days a week schedule approved by SDCC’s general assembly.

He stated that the government’s threat to dismiss all striking doctors will not resolve the problem. “The demands of the SDCC, the legitimate representative of the Sudanese medics, are far from unreasonable,” he emphasised.

In early October, medics in various parts of Sudan downed tools, demanding protection while working, a pay rise, and better working conditions. A week later the medical staff of 136 state hospitals had joined the strike.

After reaching an agreement with the Vice-President and the Minister of Health on 20 October, the SDCC temporarily called off the strike. Two weeks later, the SDCC announced the resumption of the strike as “the authorities have not kept their commitments”.

The NISS began detaining striking medics. According to the SDCC, 11 doctors are being detained incommunicado in NISS offices in Khartoum. The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) reported on Thursday that 14 medics are being held in the country. At least 49 other doctors participating in the strike across Sudan have been summoned by the NISS since 27 October, and ordered to report daily to various security offices.

Gagged

Last week, NISS agents detained four journalists for different reasons in the Sudanese capital. Women journalists Amal Habbani and Reem Abbas, and activist Mohamed Erwa, were taken to a security office in Khartoum and questioned about their attendance of a court case against a number of human rights activists of TRACKS centre in Khartoum on Thursday.

The reason for the detention of El Jareeda correspondent Mohamed El Amin Abdelaziz was not clear. He was severely beaten before he was taken to an unknown destination on Thursday. Abdelaziz was released on Sunday evening.

On Sunday, El Sayha journalist Mohamed Abu Zeid was held at the Omdurman Islamic University, when he was covering the protests of Darfuri students against the payment of tuition fees.

On Sunday as well, agents of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated the print-runs of El Tayyar, El Jareeda, and El Watan newspapers, because of their criticism of the new economic measures.


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