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More than 38 activists detained yesterday, over 100 detainees on hunger strike

February 18 - 2022 KHARTOUM
A policeman inspects a prison cell (Albert González Farran/UNAMID)
A policeman inspects a prison cell (Albert González Farran/UNAMID)

Security forces detained more than 38 activists from different parts of Khartoum yesterday and took them to unknown destinations. More than a hundred detainees in Soba prison in southeast Khartoum continued their hunger strike for the fourth day in protest against their continued detention without legal charges.

Lawyer Osman Basri told Radio Dabanga that 17 artists were held while painting murals near Tahrir Stadium in Khartoum North in the early hours of yesterday morning. 21 others were detained in various parts of Khartoum

In a press statement yesterday, the neighbourhood committees of Khartoum North threatened to close the entire capital and paralyse traffic permanently if the detainees are not released soon. They also explicitly condemned the ongoing excessive violence and unlawful detentions by the various security forces.

This is not the first time that artists are detained by Sudan's military authorities. In 2020, members of the FEED Arts group and Art is the Solution were arrested, detained, or imprisoned. These artists played an important role in the revolution against the military regime that took power after the ousting of dictator Omar Al Bashir, making murals, films, and performances that criticised those in power.

Hunger strike

More than one hundred detainees in Soba prison continued their hunger strike for the fourth day yesterday. Many other vocal opponents of the military government that took power in the October 25 coup are still missing.

Those recently arrested and detained have often been unlawfully detained with no charges brought forwards to start a trial. The detainees are prevented from seeing their families and lawyers and have also been refused medical care by doctors.

Members of Sudan’s legal fraternity, resistance committees, and political parties held a vigil outside the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Khartoum on Wednesday to denounce the arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances of coup authority critics. They condemned the prolonged detention of those unlawfully detained and called on authorities to issue a statement on their conditions.

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