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Sudanese security forces launch campaign of mass arrests

September 29 - 2013 KHARTOUM / KOSTI

Sudanese security forces reportedly launched a campaign of mass arrests on Saturday and Sunday among politicians, activists and protesters in Sudan.

Those arrested in Khartoum include Sati Al Haj, Mohamed Widaa’a and Mohamed Dia Al Din of the National Consensus Forces (NCF, a coalition of opposition parties). The daughter of the leader of the Popular Congress Party, Asma Hassan Al Turabi was arrested, as well as her cousin Abdallah Ismail Al Turabi, and Abdelfattah Al Rifaa’i. A large number of young activists were arrested too.

In the city of Kosti, White Nile state, Ismail Abdelaal Abdelrahman, Mohamed Mahjoub Hassan, and Al Sheikh Ahmed Bilul, all of the Communist Party, were detained. Also Mi’aaz Negem Al Din, the owner of a computer company in the city was arrested by the security forces.

The spokesman of the NCF, Kamal Omar, during an interview with Radio Dabanga, stated that “although the regime wants to muzzle people, this policy cannot change the reality of the demonstrations continuing despite the killings and the repression.” He appealed to international humanitarian and human rights organisations to take a firm stance towards the violations in Sudan and act to protect the demonstrators.

Omar reported that the security forces cooperate with “militias and divisions of special troops” to suppress the demonstrations.

The security forces also continued their ‘fierce campaign’ against newspapers and journalists.

On Saturday, the newspapers Al Jarida, al Garrar, Al Mashhad Alan and Al Intibaha were definitely stopped from appearing for an undefined period of time. On Monday Al Ayaam newspaper had already decided to stop, protesting the instructions of the security not to publish any news on facts related to the demonstrations and violations committed by security forces and the police. Al Sahafa newspaper agreed to follow the instructions, after which a number of journalists working for Al Sahafa resigned.

Osman Shabuna, a journalist working for Al Ahram newspaper, informed Radio Dabanga that on Saturday security forces banned him and two other journalists, Dr Zuheir Al Sarraj and Shamail Al Nur, definitely from writing.

Shabuna confirmed that dozens of journalists from various Sudanese newspapers went on strike on Saturday. They refuse to follow the renewed instructions imposed by the security, prohibiting any reporting on demonstrations and killings. The instructions also include the use of terminology: demonstrators should be called ‘culprits, saboteurs, robbers and thieves, or adherents of the Sudan Revolutionary Front’. The austerity measures by the government are to be named “economic reforms”. 

The security apparatus continues to block most of the news sites and social media, and to disrupt the signals of independent radio stations.

News photo: A street protest in Sudan (Flickr)

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