Four protesters were shot dead by security forces in Omdurman, the twin city west of the Sudanese capital Khartoum, during renewed Marches of the Millions called by Resistance Committees and opposition forces across the country yesterday. Doctors say that a fifth person died today, after being hit by a tear gas cannister in the chest. Dozens were injured, some by live ammunition. Exact numbers are still unclear but 30 wounded cases were transferred to the El Arbaeen Hospital.
The security forces reportedly intercepted an ambulance with its entire medical staff as it was leaving the hospital to transfer a wounded person with a gunshot wound to the neck to another hospital.
Doctor Sayed Ganat from the Omdurman El Arbaeen Hospital told Radio Dabanga yesterday afternoon that “there are four cases of bone injuries that need to be transferred to hospitals so that we can get them out by ambulance after what happened”. He explained that the hospital received about 30 wounded, some of them with bullet wounds, and the bodies of four protesters killed by live ammunition.
‘A flagrant human rights violation by an authority that crossed all red lines of human morality’ – Sudanese doctors
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors described the prevention of entering an injured protester into ambulance for transportation to another hospital and the seizure of medical staff as “a flagrant human rights violation by an authority that crossed all red lines of human morality”.
The committee said in a statement yesterday that the medical staff, after they were released again, engaged in a heavy argument with the forces with great insistence on the necessity of saving the patient, but “the coup militiamen”, according to the doctors’ statement, refused by force of arms to let them transfer the patient to the ambulance equipped for him.
“The ambulance heroes then transferred the injured protester on foot while he was on a breathing tube until they got into a private car and transported him with great difficulty to Omdurman Teaching Hospital, where he is now.”
In this context, the doctors committee called on all medical personnel in all specialties to join the teams in Omdurman hospitals, with priority to the El Arbaeen Hospital, to help treat the injured, some of whom are in critical condition as a result of excessive repression by the security forces in processions yesterday Thursday.
The doctors appealed to pharmacists’ associations to contribute to the supply of all medical aids, including intravenous solutions and life-enhancing drugs.
The Doctors Committee confirmed that the authorities* practiced the most heinous violations yesterday and continued to commit its massacres in a media blackout, chases inside neighbourhoods with live ammunition and a flagrant violation of the sanctities of homes.
Tens of thousands of young Sudanese took to the streets in the capital, Khartoum, and the cities of the states in simultaneous demonstrations in the Marches of the Millions yesterday.
The authorities cut off the internet service for mobile phones since the morning, closed roads leading to Khartoum, and placed shipping containers on at least two bridges.
For the first time, the security forces set up cameras on the main axes in Khartoum to monitor the gatherings of demonstrators.
The joint security forces, consisting of army soldiers, security agents, and paramilitaries of the Rapid Support Forces backed by anti-riot police, met the demonstrators heading towards the Republican Palace in Khartoum with unprecedented violence, using with high intensity with stun grenades, sticks and batons, while the forces at the same time detained a large number of demonstrators in various places in the country.
In Wad Madani, capital of El Gezira, 26 members of Resistance Committees active in the neighbourhoods of the city were held. In Blue Nile state, Military Intelligence agents held a leading member of the Resistance Committees Coordination in the state capital Ed Damazin.
A force stormed the Malecon Hotel, north of the Comboni playground in central Khartoum, and stole the telephones and money from the guests in the hotel, beating and terrorizing them.
Soldiers from the Joint Security Forces, led by an officer, stormed the offices of Asharq satellite channel in Khartoum yesterday and confiscated the channel’s camera and disconnected the Internet connections from the office after they photographed the identity cards of two women journalists working for the channel.
Asharq TV correspondent Sali Osman said in a live broadcast that the authorities prevented her from continuing the live reporting in the main news studio on the roof of the Kuwaiti Building opposite the Mak Nimir Bridge between central Khartoum and Khartoum North – which is renamed the ‘Container Bridge’ since the authorities placed shipping containers to prevent demonstrators from Khartoum North from reaching Khartoum and heading towards the Republican Palace.
The joint security forces severely beat journalists of the Al Arabiya and Al Hadath satellite channels Lina Yagoub and Nizar Bagdawi during the storming of the joint offices of the channels, where the soldiers destroyed the devices, including the live broadcast device (SNG) and stole the mobile of Bagdawi.
Yesterday, Al Arabiya and Al Hadath channels showed a video documenting the security forces’ storming of its offices in Khartoum, firing gas bombs inside the offices, beating Yagoub and Bagdawi, and the rest of the staff, and destroying broadcast equipment and cameras.
The security forces, with heavy tear gas, fired at the journalists working for the Sky News Arabia channel, who were broadcasting from the rooftops of the Kuwaiti building as well. The tear gas caused some Sky News journalists to suffocate in the Kuwaiti building in Khartoum.
In addition, the security forces detained Mutawakil Eisa (nicknamed Kola), photojournalist for Al Hurra and Russia Today channels, during his coverage of the demonstrations on Thursday, December 30, in Khartoum.
The forces severely beat the photojournalist, confiscated his cameras and phone, shaved off parts of his hair, and threw him near the Grand Mosque in central Khartoum. The mosque’s muezzin found him lying on the ground, with bear chest and unable to move. The muezzin dressed him and handed him to the guards of the nearby Gold Building, who in turn called his fellow journalists. A medical check confirmed six fractures in his hands.
The US Embassy in Sudan yesterday condemned the killing of at least four demonstrators and the injury of dozens during the demonstrations and the violent attacks launched by the Sudanese security services on the media and journalists, and the US embassy urged the Sudanese authorities to protect the freedom of the press.