Regime Quashes Dissent in Brutal Khartoum Crackdown

Freedom House condemns the brutal crackdown on peaceful, student-led protests in Khartoum and the arrest of more than 70 people by state security forces. On Monday, December 26, nearly 16,000 University of Khartoum students participated in a peaceful sit-in against police brutality and government policies. Last week riot police attacked 700 university students and arrested more than 70 students who were protesting in solidarity with persons displaced by the Merowe Dam north of Khartoum. In addition, two activists, Mohamed Hassan Ali “Boshi” and Ali Zain al-Abideen, were arrested and their whereabouts are unknown. Al-Abideen is a writer and activist who called on the government to respect human rights and the rule of law. Boshi is a recent university graduate who rose to prominence after publicly confronting government officials, including a senior advisor to President Omar al-Bashir about the regime’s corruption, brutality and war crimes in the Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states. Freedom House calls for the release of those arrested without due process for expressing their rights as outlined in the Sudanese constitution.

Sudan is not an electoral democracy and has been ruled by a military-backed regime that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power in 1989. President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his involvement in the Darfur conflict. In July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan was established after South Sudanese overwhelmingly voted in a referendum for separation as guaranteed under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended the decades-long civil war. The NCP regime as a result has brutally cracked down on peaceful protests in the country and continued to fight rebels in Darfur, and most recently, in the South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states in an effort to maintain its grip on power.
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