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Outrage over student detentions in Sudan’s capital

May 8 - 2016 KHARTOUM
A water cannon is used to disperse a demonstration by students at Khartoum University (26 April 2016)
A water cannon is used to disperse a demonstration by students at Khartoum University (26 April 2016)

Humanitarian and human rights organisations, political parties, and civil society organisations have joined a chorus of condemnation after agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) raided lawyer Nabil Adeeb’s office, arresting of ten of the dismissed and suspended students from the University of Khartoum, along with two office employees.

The National Umma Party and the Democratic Unionist Group denounced the act as “an unprecedented violation of human rights,” and called on the Sudanese people and all civil society organisations and human rights organisations to take a strong stand against the treatment of the students.

The Confederation of the Civil Society Organisations has called for the immediate release of the detainees, and a halt to persecution of students, graduates, and activists. It has demanded an investigation into the killing of students Abubakar Hassan Mohamed Taha of Kordofan University and Mohammed El Sadig of El Ahliya University, and the use of firearms and rubber bullets against unarmed students.


In a statement on Friday, the families of the dismissed and detained students of the University of Khartoum hold the Sudanese government responsible for the lives of their sons and daughters and the university administration responsible for their safety and academic future.

The statement says the families “will take revenge against the security apparatus as a personal issue in the event their sons and daughters suffer any harm.”

The families confirmed in the statement that they “will not keep silent, have no limits or red lines in order to guarantee the safety of their sons and daughters”.

They also called on “the honourable university professors, students, all Sudanese society groups, national organisations and political parties to support the fair cause of the dismissed and detained”.

Inquiry committee

The Chancellor of the University of Khartoum issued a decision to form an inquiry committee against Prof Esmat Mahmoud Ahmed, associate professor at the Faculty of Arts, “because of his pro-student position in the uprising of the university against the arbitrary security decisions”.

In response to the decision Prof Ahmed wrote: “I am happy that I am in the front line battle to restore the dignity and independence of the University of Khartoum, and will shoulder responsibility with my student sons and daughters. Be assured that each event has its turn.”

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