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Young men beaten, shaved by RSF in Kutum, North Darfur

August 3 - 2019 KUTUM
Hair forcibly cut in Port Sudan, July 17, 2019 (Social media)
Hair forcibly cut in Port Sudan, July 17, 2019 (Social media)

Members of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudan’s main government militia, assaulted a group of young men in Kutum market in North Darfur on Thursday.

Yahya Khumus, activist member of the Forces for Freedom and Change in Kutum told Radio Dabanga that the RSF militiamen seized young men at the market of Kutum “apparently without no reason.

“They beat some of them severely and shaved the heads of others by force,” Khumus said.

According to the activist, “The purpose of these actions is to provoke young people in the area, so that they will stage a demonstration. The militiamen can then shoot at them as they like.”

He directed young people not to respond to them, and demanded a meeting with the local security committee “to put an end to this behaviour”.

The shaving of heads seems to be an ordinary tool used by the Sudanese authorities ‘to educate young people with western-style haircuts’.

In November 2017, dozens of youths and students in Sudan’s Northern State were convicted to be shaved in public for their alleged odd haircuts and wearing of inappropriate dress. 

Radio Dabanga reported in August 2018 about RSF militiamen who seized secondary school students and shaved their heads in North Darfur’s Mellit.

In September last year, young people with “deviant hair styles” in Khartoum North became victim of a head-shaving campaign of the RSF. The paramilitaries set to shaving men by force as part of “the fight against negative phenomena”, listeners said.

Also during the violent dispersal of the Khartoum sit-in on June 3, protesters were (partly) shaved.

Residents of Port Sudan, capital of Red Sea state, were beaten with whips and had their hair forcibly cut by army soldiers and RSF members in mid-July, because they allegedly violated the curfew in the city. A female student had her hair cut as well for not covering her head.

Musab Rizgallah, student member of the Arab Socialist Baath Party, was severely beaten and his head was shaved by agents of the Student Security in Khartoum last week.


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