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NISS detains illustrator for mocking Darfur referendum

April 15 - 2016 FORO BARANGA / EL FASHER
Employees of the referendum commission await voters at a polling centre in Darfur on Monday, the first day of the referendum (RD)
Employees of the referendum commission await voters at a polling centre in Darfur on Monday, the first day of the referendum (RD)

A man was arrested for drawing caricatures about the referendum in Darfur and taken to the NISS offices in West Darfur on Wednesday. The votes for the referendum, which ended on Wednesday, are being counted.

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) took Mohamed Ahmed Fadel, head of the psychotherapy department at the hospital in Foro Baranga, from his office on Wednesday morning. They accused him of drawing caricatures about the lack of voter turnout at polling stations in Darfur.

Fadel also mocked the authorities' closure of the market in the town, in order to enforce people to cast their vote, in a caricature drawing, a relative told Radio Dabanga.

On Tuesday, the NISS detained two demonstrators in downtown Khartoum during a demonstration against the voting. Three students were detained by the NISS at El Fasher University during a protest against the referendum on Monday.

A group of activists of the civil society opposed the administrative referendum this week during a protest in El Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, on Thursday afternoon.

One of them told Radio Dabanga from the vigil at El Mawashi market that “the regime practices its tricks during the referendum” and has done so since the beginning of the registration.

A polling result in favour of the unification of Darfur's five states would lead to the creation of a regional government. One that results in keeping the five states separate, may lead to Khartoum gaining more power over Darfur and that the Transitional Darfur Regional Authority will be dissolved.

People in Darfur have witnessed few voters at the ballot boxes during the three days of voting, but the ruling party in Sudan has predicted a large voter turnout. Witnesses reported that government employees campaigned for the voting in the streets, by closing down markets such as in Foro Baranga, or knocking on the doors of homes.


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