Sudan arrests dozens of activists

2014-10-02 08:26
Sudanese President Omar Bashir speaks to mouners in Khartoum, after a cabinet minister was among 32 politicians, generals and others killed when a plane crashed on its way to Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan state. (AFP)

Sudanese President Omar Bashir speaks to mouners in Khartoum, after a cabinet minister was among 32 politicians, generals and others killed when a plane crashed on its way to Sudan's war-torn South Kordofan state. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cairo - Sudan has arrested scores of activists, lawyers and journalists over the past two weeks in a crackdown coinciding with the anniversary of massive protests against the lifting of fuel subsidies, activists and rights groups said Wednesday.

Nearly 200 people were killed during the demonstrations a year ago, according to rights groups, in the worst violence in the capital since President Omar al-Bashir came to power in 1989. Some of the protests called for al-Bashir's ouster, while the president accused the demonstrators of using "recent economic decisions" as a pretext to topple the government.

The government flooded the capital with security forces in the days leading up to the anniversary of the demonstrations, and no major protests were held. A senior official from Sudan's ruling party told state media that the security forces deployed in order to provide "reassurance" and that last year's killings were "made by mistake."

Abdel-Qayom Badour, the Secretary-General of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party, told The Associated Press that nearly 100 people from civil society organizations and opposition parties were arrested, including five members of his own party.

The Sudanese activist group Change Now released a "partial list" of 48 people arrested in the recent crackdown. It said they were seized in their workplaces, homes or on the street and are being held in unknown locations.

The US State Department expressed "deep concern" over reports that "dozens of political activists and civil society leaders" were arrested ahead of planned demonstrations on 25 Sept, the anniversary of the protests.

Al-Bashir has proposed a national dialogue to include the government, opposition groups and armed rebels, but Change Now rejected the initiative, saying the government is merely trying to prolong its hold on power.

President Omar al-Bashir came to power in a 1989 coup, and his party monopolizes power and restricts civil liberties. It was not immediately possible to obtain comment from Sudanese authorities.

"The pre-emptive arrests were intended to intimidate political opponents and to limit the movement of activists during this tense period," said Jenai Cox, Africa program manager at Freedom House, a US-based research and advocacy group.

"One year after it shot its own citizens for peacefully demonstrating in their capital city, the government continues to rely on brutality to suppress fundamental rights and freedoms."

Read more on:    omar al-bashir  |  sudan  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.