Sudan: State of emergency intensifies brutal government crackdown on protests

Report
from Amnesty International
Published on 25 Feb 2019 View Original

The Sudanese authorities must end measures taken under the state of emergency to violently crush dissent amid ongoing nationwide protests in the country, Amnesty International said.

Following the declaration of a state of emergency on Friday, the government has deployed large numbers of security forces – including the army – to target protesters.

Thousands of Sudanese people are again protesting today in various parts of the country. Security officers today invaded the Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman dispersing students with teargas and beatings.

“The state of emergency is being used by the Sudanese authorities as a justification to flagrantly increase the use of live ammunition and tear gas against protesters, and to torture detainees without any restraint,” said Joan Nyanyuki Amnesty International’s Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

“The Government of Sudan must immediately stop using these extreme measures under the state of emergency to intimidate the Sudanese people and prevent them from exercising their freedom of expression. The people have a right to peacefully protest the social, political and economic conditions in the country.”

On Sunday, security forces fired live ammunition and tear gas at protesters in Khartoum state, injuring at least three people. Another group of officers forced their way into the University of Medical Sciences and Technology (UMST) campus in Khartoum where students were peacefully protesting. They fired tear gas into classrooms, beat up students and arrested dozens of them.

In Khartoum’s Burri and Omdurman’s Alabasyia districts, large numbers of security officers drawn from the Sudan Armed Forces, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and the police force were deployed. These officers forced their way into people’s homes in Burri on Sunday, firing tear gas, beating up people and confiscating mobile phones.

On Saturday, the security forces broke into a medical doctors' residence near the Khartoum Teaching Hospital, beat up doctors and arrested more than 40 of them on accusations that they were organizing the protests.

“This brutal crackdown on the Sudanese people immediately following the announcement of the state of emergency is disturbing,” warned Joan Nyanyuki.

“Those protesting peacefully on the streets must be allowed to have their say and the security forces’ attacks on protesters, arbitrary detention and torture must end immediately.”

Since mass anti-government protests began on 19 December 2018, Amnesty International has verified and recorded more than 45 deaths and more than 180 people injured. Government officials say more than 2,600 people have been arrested and detained during the ongoing protests.