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Women detainees in Sudan on hunger strike – Al Bashir promises release

March 10 - 2019 OMDURMAN / KHARTOUM
Women protest in Sudan on March 7 (RD)
Women protest in Sudan on March 7 (RD)

On Friday, dozens of women who are being held in Omdurman women’s prison entered a hunger strike to protest the oppression and arbitrary detention of women and celebrate International Women’s Day. President Al Bashir has ordered the release of all women detainees.

More than 60 activists in Khartoum staged a similar hunger strike in solidarity with the women detained in connection with the demonstrations, in addition to a protest inside the headquarters of the opposition National Umma Party (NUP) in Omdurman.

The Regional Coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders in the Middle East and North Africa, which includes 40 organisations, confirmed its solidarity with the Sudanese women detainees, calling on the government to respect the rights of human rights defenders and women’s rights in Sudan according to international and African human rights mechanisms.

The women group of Lawyers Without Borders affirmed its full solidarity with the detainees on hunger strike.

It called for the immediate release of all the detainees and held the regime and its institutions responsible for any health or humanitarian consequences of this strike.

Al Bashir orders women’s release

During a meeting on Friday, In a gesture to mark International Women’s Day, Al Bashir told the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which has been central to the suppression of protests, to release all women who have been detained in connection with the protests.

Opposition activists estimate that more than 150 women are currently in prison for participating in protests.

At time of publishing, no reports have been received to suggest any women have actually been released following the order.

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