Nine Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff members were detained by the Sudanese authorities in the capital Khartoum on the evening of 24 January, before being released the following morning.
At the time of their detention, our team was returning to the MSF office from the hospital where they had been working that day.
The nine staff members were held overnight in a Khartoum police station and questioned about the organisation’s medical activities before being released on the morning of 25 January. They were not subjected to physical violence during their detention.
“The detention of our staff in connection with their medical work is unacceptable,” says Michel-Oliver Lacharité, MSF head of emergencies. “While it is positive that our team are now out of detention, it is clear that they should never have been detained in the first place.
“Our medical action in Sudan is based on only one thing: where there are medical needs that require treatment,” says Lacharité. “We are working to help the city’s hospitals care for injured people, and we are also supporting them to respond to a worrying increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
“Today, some of our activities are on standby in Khartoum as we work to ensure that the security of our teams is assured,” he says. “We hope to be able to quickly resume all our assistance to people in the capital.”
MSF is registered in Sudan and has all the necessary authorisations for our medical programmes. We are providing healthcare in eight states across the country, and our work is funded solely through private donations - we do not use any government funding.