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Sudan: NISS campaign of arrests nets opposition leaders, activists

January 31 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, Co-president of the National Umma Party
Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, Co-president of the National Umma Party

Yesterday, agents of the Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) continued their large-scale detention campaign of political activists and opposition leaders from their homes. They chased and held dozens of demonstrators demanding the step-down of Al Bashir and his regime from the government.

Lawyer and prominent human rights defender Kamal El Jazouli was detained from his office in Khartoum on Wednesday, and transferred to an unknown destination.

The arrest of El Jazouli coincided with the arrest of women activists Maryam Mahjoub Sharif and Sarah Ibrahim.

Activists published massively on social network sites the names of dozens of detainees being held in Khartoum, after NISS director Salah Abdallah (known as Salah Gosh) announced the release of all political activists and opposition leaders.

A security force briefly detained Maryam El Sadig El Mahdi, Co-president of the National Umma Party (NUP) from her house and took her to the headquarters of the NISS in Khartoum on Wednesday morning. The force had stormed the home of El Mahdi the day before, in search of her, which terrified her schildren.

In a statement yesterday, she said that a NISS force took her to their headquarters in Khartoum, where she had to wait for about two hours before she was brought to the office of the director of the NISS who questioned her, and ordered her release at about 2.30 pm.

She said the NUP stands with Sudan Call, the forces of Freedom and Change and all Sudanese people. She called on “the regime with all its institutions” to “immediately respond to the demands of the people to avoid the shedding of more blood ”.


The Doctors Media Office has strongly denied the announcement by the director of the NISS that all detainees were released. In a statement it descried his words as lies, and confirmed that more than 26 doctors are still in detention.

The Media Office, which includes the Sudanese Doctors’ Central Committee, the Legitimate Medical Association and the Specialists and Consultants Committee, accused the current regime of lack of credibility, pointing out that the list of detainees is increasing daily.

The statement criticised the security forces’ coercion of some of the detainees to make statements to the media under threat.

Yesterday, the Sudanese Congress Party and Communist Party of Sudan as well reacted to the security forces’ allegations that they have released all the detainees.

The Communist Party said in a statement that NISS officers continue to detain members of the party's Central Committee and other leaders and activist members of the party.

“The false bubble, whatever its purpose, does not dissuade the masses of our people from its intention to overthrow the regime,” the Communist statement said.

The party further welcomed the release of a number of detainees and expressed confidence that they would be leading the large-scale march to overthrow the regime in Khartoum on Thursday.

Sudanese Professionals Association

The Sudanese Professionals Association and other opposition forces signatory to the Declaration of Freedom and Change pointed out in a joint statement that the NISS detention centres are still crowded with “professionals, politicians, and other honourable citizens”.

It stressed that the release of the detainees will not restore the lives of the martyrs and the sacrifices of the Sudanese since the coming of the Al Bashir regime.

Press curbs

On Wednesday, NISS agents barred El Jareeda newspaper from printing for 18 consecutive days on the pretext that it provided news, articles and reports criticising the regime and supporting the popular movement.

The security apparatus is carrying out a vicious campaign against the newspapers, confiscating them and preventing them from printing in order to inflict heavy financial losses on them, leading to their collapse.

El Watan, El Baath, El Midan, and El Jareeda newspapers face systematic harassment from the NISS for insisting on the publication of news of the demonstrations and the killing of peaceful demonstrators by the regime’s forces.

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