Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) dispersed a protest calling for the abolition of the Public Order Law in Khartoum today. The protest campaign was organised by the Roweina Initiative in solidarity with the population of Um Dom, where five people died during a police raid two months ago.
On Wednesday 14 October, the Public Order Police carried out a raid in a neighbourhood of Um Dom, a farm area at the banks of the Blue Nile in Khartoum state. The area is mainly inhabited by displaced people and migrant workers. The majority is involved in the informal sector, working as tea-sellers, alcohol-sellers, petty traders, and brick-makers.
Dozens were detained during the raid. A number of people were so scared that they ran into the Nile. Three women, an infant, and a young man drowned.
Initiator Khalil Abu Hawa told Radio Dabanga that the campaigners handed a petition to the Khartoum state parliament, the European Union Delegation to Sudan, and the Sudanese Constitutional Court, demanding the abolition of the Public Order Act. They plan to submit a copy to the federal Parliament soon.
Abu Hawa said that NISS agents dispersed the sit-in organised this (Wednesday) morning in downtown Khartoum. He stressed that the Roweina Campaign will continue demanding an independent investigation into the Um Dom incident, "to restore the dignity of the victims and their relatives".
Journalist and activist Amal Habbani, who participated in the protest, told Radio Tamazuj this morning that "many security forces came before the protest commenced,” she reported. “They called me and told me that they did not want anyone to stand here. They called it an unlawful protest, and threatened us.
“They then regrouped themselves, and detained two youths from the Sudanese Republican Party and tore up their banners,” she added. “After that they ordered us to leave the area.”
For an elaborate account of the Um Dom incident by Siha Network click here.