Please note: Map markers are approximate and for illustration purposes only.

Human Rights Abuses in Sudan Over the Month of June 2016

21.07.16

Overview


During the month of June 2016, SUDO (UK)’s network of human rights monitors have reported and verified 53 incidents relating to the abuse of human rights across Sudan involving seven Sudanese states.

Enclosed within the 53 reports, SUDO (UK) has assessed that various forces under the direct authority of the Government of Sudan[1] were responsible, as individual entities, for 26 instances of human rights abuses. A further 20 abuses were carried out by groups categorised by monitors as Janjaweed, whilst five such abuses were recorded against “pro-government militias”[2]. Four human rights abuses were perpetrated by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N), and two such abuses were registered against unknown actors.

The 53 reports detail the following: the death of 42 persons (inclusive of one policeman); the serious injury of 25 civilians; the rape of seven women including four minors; the arrest of seven persons (including one allegation of murder in relation to the aforementioned policeman and one member of a Janjaweed militia) and the death of another detainee within the Sudanese Armed Forces headquarters in Demazin; seven counts of kidnap (possibly another seven though whereabouts unknown following attack on Tor); one incident of aerial bombardment utilising seven barrel bombs; four direct attacks on civilian villages and/or towns; 16 incidents of looting; once incident of preventing the evacuation of injured civilians; and seven incidents pertaining to press freedom and freedom of expression including four court cases (one verdict levelling an SDG 10,000,000 fine) and the confiscation of all print editions of Akhir Lahza newspaper.


Specific Incidents and Trends over the Month of June 2016


Paramilitary Assaults on Civilian Towns and Villages

During the month of June there were three significant assaults on civilian towns and villages in Central Darfur and West Darfur, respectively.

On the 20th June, a combined force consisting of the Rapid Support Forces and Janjaweed militias attacked the village of Tor situated in west Jebel Marra, just 14km south of Nertiti. The combined troops arrived on a large number of 4x4 vehicles and motorcycles. During the assault they looted the market and civilian homes before setting them on fire. Following the withdrawal of the attacking forces, monitors were able to record the death of five civilians, the serious injury of three civilians, and the unknown whereabouts of seven persons who either fled or were abducted.

Only two days later, a Border Guard militia numbering some 80 persons attacked farmers in Um Tajok, West Darfur, as they were readying their fields for the rainy season. A total of 12 civilians were confirmed as killed, whilst another three were injured and another three abducted. The evacuation of the injured persons to receive treatment in El-Geneina was initially thwarted by the Sudanese Armed Forces that had been mobilised to stop the assault. This was due to fears surrounding the potential of further demonstrations in the West Darfur capital relating to continuing instability.

The following day, on the 23rd June, the Border Guard militia returned to the same area of Um Tajok destroying two villages, killing a civilian and injuring another. The attack furthermore led to the displacement of some 150 persons. Both of the attacks in the Um Tajok area were in relation to disagreements over the allocation and use of land amongst differing ethnic groups.


Developments Pertaining to Freedom of the Press and Expression

Since the new Parliamentary session began in April, the Government and Parliamentarians have repeatedly criticised and threatened to further curtail the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The Parliamentary speaker, Ibrahim Ahmed Omar, criticised the inaccuracy of media reports and stressed that the issue of media is heavily related to national security, a belief that frames Government behaviour and attitudes towards media outlets.

Meanwhile, the Chair of the Security and Defence Committee, General Ahmed Thami, verbally attacked the press as well as specific journalists stating that their articles were provocative against the armed forces. He further vowed to put an end to their inflammatory writings. Another member of the Committee, Fadul Al-Molaa Al-Ahja, alleged that the media acts in a manner that the armed opposition have thus far failed to do, and, as such, the press are destructive and should be considered the first enemy of Sudan.

Not only are the Government and Parliamentarians concerned about traditional media outlets, they are also worried about the use of social media. During a Parliamentary hearing on the 28th June, the Minister of Information, Ahmed Bilal Osman, criticised the use of social media and its role in spreading unsubstantiated rumours throughout Sudan. He further stated that the government should work to better address the balance between freedom and responsibility for those using social media. During that same meeting other speakers expressed concern at the role that social media played in undermining the government and Sudan in general. They stated their intention to establish a greater online presence in English to repel such attacks.

On the 13th June, 2016, the General-Secretary of the National Council for Press and Publications, Abdel Azim Awad, announced the figures relating to the spread of Sudanese newspapers in 2015. The report signalled a steady decline in newspaper circulation over the last four years. It further identified the circulation of 49 newspapers including 30 comprehensive, 12 sport, and 7 social. Some 64% of all newspaper editions are distributed in Khartoum.


Incident Reports


North Darfur


14/06/2016

Four Janjaweed militiamen dressed in military uniform and riding aboard a 4x4 vehicle attacked a displaced man by the name of Hussein Mohamed Nandi in his farm situated in Um Bronga village, causing serious harm. The victim was subsequently taken to a hospital run by Doctors without Borders, before being moved on to Khartoum for further treatment.

The victim, a 32 year-old Tunjur from Rwanda camp, was able to identify his four attackers who are “Arab” and aged between 20 and 27. The militiamen in question are under the command and control structure of Commander Ibrahim Awadeen and are based in Um Gulbag, which is situated 15km north of Tawila.

The incident was reported to the police, UNAMID and to the Sudanese Armed Forces based in Tawila.


17/06/2016

Two pro-government militiamen attacked two displaced girls as they were collecting firewood north of Aamar Jadid village. One girl was able to escape, though the other, a 16 year-old Tunjur, was caught, tied up and taken to north El Jebel where she was raped and left in the valley. The girl’s relatives found her before taking her to receive treatment in El-Fasher. The incident has since been reported to a unit specialising in family and child protection.

The perpetrators belong to the militia commanded by Ahmed Al-Ghaly.


18/06/2016

Seven Janjaweed militiamen under the command and control structure of Hafiz Daoud attacked Abdullah Ali Ahmed, a 35 year-old Fur, in his farm situated in Fatta Barno camp. The militiamen sought to enter their cattle onto the victim’s land, who in turn protested. This resulted in the militiamen opening fire on Abdullah Ali Ahmed causing an injury to his right arm, following which the militiamen left. The victim received treatment in Kutum Teaching Hospital, and the incident was reported to the police in Kutum.


24/06/2016

Two pro-government militiamen killed Abdullah Fadel Rahama outside of his home in Al-Wohda district of El Fasher. The victim refused to hand over his mobile phone when requested resulting in the militiamen opening fire killing him instantly. Following the death of the victim protests erupted throughout El-Fasher against the deteriorating security situation within the city.

Abdullah Fadel Rahama is a 23 year-old grade four student at Al-Neelain University studying in the Faculty of Law. He is from the Zaghawa ethnic group.


26/06/2016

Three Janjaweed militiamen assaulted and raped three minors aged 15, 16, and 17, after they had left their homes to attend their farm. The incident took place in Masal village which is situated 1km east of Khazan Jadeed. The victims were subjected to an ordeal that lasted for three hours before the militiamen left. The girls were taken to Khazan Jadeed by passing civilians, where they received treatment and where the incident was reported to the police.


South Darfur


19/06/2016

Three militiamen from the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) entered Otash IDP camp and stabbed a displaced woman to death whilst they raided her home. Upon hearing the victim’s screams neighbours entered the home only to be fired upon and injured. The perpetrators fled the scene in an unknown direction, whilst the injured neighbours were taken to Nyala Teaching Hospital.

Monitors identified the dead as:

  1. Omayma Ahmed, 40.

The injured neighbours have been identified as:

  1. Maryam Ibrahim Bakhit;
  2. Mohamed Tabgku.

19/06/2016

Pro-government militiamen attacked Kindi village, situated in north-east Buram. During the attack four civilians were killed. The village was also looted and set on fire. Monitors were only able to obtain the identity of one of the civilians killed, who has been named as Halima Mohamed Saeed.


20/06/2016

Twelve pro-government militiamen riding three camels, three horses and six motorcycles opened fire on a commercial vehicle ferrying 35 passengers from Nyala to Mukjar. Upon forcing the vehicle to stop, the militiamen beat the passengers with sticks and whips before looting their possessions. In total some 23 mobile phones were stolen as well as 16,000 SDG and other civilian possessions. The passengers continued their journey to Kabum locality, where the incident was reported to the police.


20/06/2016

Three pro-government militiamen attacked and shot dead a civilian for reasons that are currently unknown. The body was taken to the mortuary in Nyala Teaching Hospital, though thus far the identity of the dead civilian is still unknown. The deceased continued to maintain all of their possessions after the shooting.


20/06/2016

Rapid Support Force militiamen numbering 15 attacked and looted three houses in El-Mataar neighbourhood of Nyala. During the assault one person was severely injured. The injured civilian received treatment at Nyala Teaching Hospital.


27/06/2016

Janjaweed militiamen numbering 12 persons opened fire on and assaulted four displaced men whilst they attended their farms. The militiamen attacked the victims in Dakma village, situated 7km north-east of Gereida locality. After the attack the perpetrators threatened the victims against returning to their fields. They stated explicitly that such fields were the property of the militiamen in question and would be used to graze their livestock.

The injured have been named as:

  1. Adam Abdullah Ali, 39;
  2. Ishag Abdullah Ali, 45;
  3. Mohamed Abdullah Ali, 25;
  4. Musa Ahmed Daood, 24.

Central Darfur


15/06/2016

Hand grenades buried under a tree in Hesahesa IDP camp situated in Zalingei exploded leading to the injury of three civilians. The injured civilians have been named as:

  1. Khalid Adam Arbab, 16, Masalit;
  2. Mohamed Abakar Mohamed, 17, Fur;
  3. Unknown.

The incident was reported to UNAMID.


01/06/2016

Three Janjaweed militiamen attacked and raped a displaced woman at gunpoint inside her farm situated in Wadi Karkor, located north-west of Hesahesa IDP camp. The victim was taken to the hospital by her relatives, where she received treatment.

The militiamen in question are under the command and control structure of Abdelrahman Dood.


04/06/2016

Four unknown militiamen dressed in military uniform looted a vehicle belonging to the Ministry of Education in Zalingei after killing a policeman and threatening the driver. Two days later, the relatives of the deceased demanded blood money from the driver, accusing him of being involved in the murder of the policeman. The local police force is investigating the allegations and have arrested the driver.

Monitors identified the deceased as Abdu Al-Nabi Adam El Sayer.


07/06/2016

Mohieddin Adam Mohamed Adam was assaulted in the market in Zalingei by a named policeman, where he was verbally and physical abused. Two days later the victim was again attacked by the same policeman, though aided by three colleagues, after they turned up at his home in order to search the premises. Despite not finding anything they arrested Mohieddin Adam Mohamed Adam and planted cannabis on his person in an attempt to frame him, before placing him in custody. Mohieddin Adam Mohamed Adam was released three days later. 


08/06/2016

Two Janjaweed militiamen, with direct ties to the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), looted a vehicle belonging to the international NGO Save the Children in front of their office in Zalingei. The vehicle was taken to an unknown destination.


12/06/2016

Four Janjaweed militiamen dressed in military uniform abducted Adam Ahmed Saror, a local merchant in Zalingei’s main market, from his shop before driving away. Fortunately the merchant was later rescued by the police with additional assistance.


12/06/2016

Janjaweed militiamen numbering some 300 persons led by Hassan Al-Rabi kidnapped two civilians and injured another during a raid on Hameida IDP Camp in Zalingei. The large force encircled the camp and opened fire into the air before kidnapping two persons and injuring another. The force has since demanded 300,000 SDG for the ransom of the two kidnapped persons. They have been named as:

  1. Adam Mohamed Musa Rahama, 23, Fur, Resides in the section of Sheikh Abdelrazig;
  2. Idris Younis Mokhtar, 31, Masalit, Resides in the section of Sheikh Amir.

The militia also injured:

  1. Mahir Ibrahim Abdelshafi, 31, Fur, Resides in the section of Sheikh Abdullah.

Witnesses were able to identify two of the perpetrators as members of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). The named men rank as Colonel and Lieutenant-Colonel respectively.

Note: Communities resident in certain Darfuri IDP Camps are split into sections, each section led by a different Sheikh.


12/06/2016

A number of Janjaweed militiamen riding aboard 4X4 vehicles armed with Dushka heavy machine guns raped two displaced women as they collected firewood in Jebel Kajwa, situated 14km north of Zalingei. The victims were from Hameida IDP camp and were aged 22 and 26, respectively.


13/06/2016

A group of Janjaweed militiamen looted a vehicle from the main market in Zalingei. A member of the militia by the name of Kashari was arrested by Sudanese joint forces, following which an hour later a Janjaweed militia led by Jamal Ahmed Khater surrounded the headquarters of the police and demanded his release. The imprisoned militia member has since been transferred to Port Sudan prison.


13/06/2016

Seven Janjaweed militiamen riding on the back of camels and dressed in military uniform killed two shepherds and looted 64 heads of cattle. The incident took place in Dabah Nairah, situated 47km from Zalingei.

Monitors have named the deceased as:

  1. Gido Abdelhadi Hussein, 34, Misseriya;
  2. Seifaldeen Haron Gamee, 17, Misseriya.

15/06/2016

A number of Rapid Support Forces and Janjaweed led by Zakria Nimra Etneen attacked the market in Aimshlaya, situated in Azom locality, looting goods and cash.


19/06/2016

The Sudanese Air Force bombarded Sorong area killing two civilians and destroying farmland. Five barrel bombs were dropped around the village, whilst a further two were dropped on farmland situated 5km west of Sorong village. The latter bombardments resulted in the death of Abdul Shakoor Issa Ahmed and his son Yahya Abdul Shakoor Issa.


20/06/2016

A large force combined of Janjaweed militiamen and Rapid Support Forces, led by three Arab commanders, attacked the village of Tor situated in west Jebel Marra, 14 km south of Nertiti. The militia, arriving on 46 4x4 vehicles and some 130 motorcycles attacked the market and looted goods before setting it on fire. The militia then turned towards civilian homes destroying more than 76 houses. Five civilians were killed, three injured, and seven have gone missing as a result of the attack.

Civilians confirmed as killed:

  1. Abdel Al-Aziz;
  2. Adam Abdeljabar;
  3. Amir Abakar. 37, fur;
  4. Hussein Jido, 46, Fur;
  5. Unidentified child.

Injured:

  1. Adam Musa;
  2. Mukhtar Sulieman;
  3. Sheikh Issa Daldol.

21/06/2016

A combined force of Janjaweed and Rapid Support Forces abducted the trader Yahya Abdullah Abdelrahman as he left Nertiti for Tor. The trader had left for Tor in order to check on his family following the previous day’s assault. The next day, Ahmed Saier, a militia leader, confirmed that his forces had abducted the trader and demanded 150,000 SDG for his release.


23/06/2016

Four Janjaweed militiamen dressed in military uniform under the command and control structure of Fadul El Nagi looted a passenger vehicle travelling on the road connecting Bakdoola and Saraf Omra, 37km north of Zalingei, and demanded ransom for its release. The militiamen stopped the vehicle before threatening the driver and forcing the passengers out. They then looted the vehicle taking it to an unknown destination.

Two days later Fadul El Nagi approached the vehicle’s owner demanding 35,000 SDG in order to obtain its release. The owner paid the ransom and the vehicle was recovered.


West Darfur


22/06/2016

At approximately 09:00, a Border Guard militia numbering some 80 persons attacked farmers in Um Tajok as they were readying their fields for the rainy season. The attack resulted in the death of 12 civilians. Three civilians were also seriously wounded and another three were abducted.

Following the attack there are reports that the government ordered troops to Um Tajok in order to prevent civilians from taking the wounded and dead to El-Geneina in order to avoid media attention and possible demonstrations. Three days later two of the injured were able to receive treatment at El-Geneina hospital.

The civilians killed have been identified as:

  1. Abdullah Mohamedien;
  2. Abdulmawla Ishaq Abdoulbanat;
  3. Abood Omar El-Dowma Ramadan;
  4. Bahar Al-Deen Mohamed Ahmed;
  5. Ezadeen Ishaq;
  6. Hassan Ishaq Abdoulbanat;
  7. Ishaq Mohamed Ibrahim;
  8. Mohamed ahmed Abdoulbanat;
  9. Mohamed Mohamedien;
  10. Salih Mohamed El-Hadi;
  11. Showgar Omar El-Doum;
  12. Tawi Mohamed Abakar.

This attack was the result of a disagreement over the allocation and use of land between the differing ethnic groups.


23/06/2016

The Border Guard militia returned to the area of Um Tajok and attacked and destroyed two villages. This resulted in the death of one civilian and the injury of another. The attack itself forced the displacement of 150 persons to Kerneik locality.


Blue Nile


01/06/2016

A detainee within the Sudanese Armed Forces headquarters in Demazin was found dead inside a container after suffering from illness. Mohamed Al-Dgeel Shota, aged 22, had been ill for some time though Military Intelligence officials had refused to move him to a hospital. Mohamed Al-Dgeel Shota was detained in March 2016 under the suspicion that he had smuggled goods to the SPLM-N. His body has been handed over the police. This is the second death that monitors have verified within the Sudanese Armed Forces headquarters following the death of 40 year-old farmer Tarig Ali in October 2015.

SUDO (UK) have also been presented with information in March 2016 on the death of two further detainees whose bodies were thrown into the river. They were identified as Salim Ramdan, aged 46, and Matook Jabir, aged 35, by local residents. Though monitors were unable to fully investigate.


01/06/2016

A group of Janjaweed militiamen stopped a commercial vehicle transporting passengers from Kurmuk locality to Demazin. They proceeded to search the passengers and the vehicle, before forcing the passengers to walk. Militiamen looted 3,000 SDG and a laptop.


01/06/2016

Janjaweed militiamen looted a shop belonging to Yassir Lord in Demazin. Four smart phones were stolen in addition to 9,000 SDG.


02/06/2016

A large force of Janjaweed and Rapid Support Forces, armed with heavy artillery, attacked Jebel Kilgo with the intention of driving the SPLM-N forces out of the mountain. The attack led to the death of eight civilians who had been detained in the area by SPLM-N forces.

Note: SUDO (UK)’s May report on human rights abuses in Sudan contained reports on the kidnapping of seven women from Ahmed Silk village by SPLM-N. Shortly after monitors discovered that the women were taken to Jebel Kilgo, following which they were moved to Al-Hara Al-Khamsa at the onset of the fighting. SUDO monitors indicate that the women are treated as domestic and sexual slaves by certain members of the SPLM-N. They have been used to cook, clean, wash and brew alcohol, in addition to provide sexual services.


02/06/2016

Janjaweed militiamen looted 400 SDG from a shop belonging to Kamal Elddin Ahmed in Demazin market.


03/06/2016

Janjaweed militiamen crashed into Ayman Mohamed Ali as he was driving his rickshaw causing the civilian serious injury and destroying his vehicle.


05/06/2016

SPLM-N forces looted shops several shops in Masfa market, located in Bao locality. The SPLM-N forces entered the market at 22:00 armed with Kalashnikov’s and heavy machine guns.


09/06/2016

Military Intelligence forces arrested Ismail Tawakol Ahmed, a 30 year-old geologist and resident of Demazin, after he criticised the Rapid Support Forces following their behaviour in Blue Nile state and Sinnar state. He mentioned that the forces had assaulted civilians, looted property and committed acts of sexual violence.


09/06/2016

Three members of the Sudanese Armed Forces shot a trader inside his shop in Demazin. Youssef Mohamed Bashir, aged 40, was attacked and his shop looted. The soldiers looted a large amount of money and a mobile phone. When the trader sought to resist them he received three bullet wounds to the abdomen.


10/06/2016

Military Intelligence forces arrested two political activists for criticising the actions of the Rapid Support Forces in the state. The activists have been identified as:

  1. Issam Omer Ibrahim, 42;
  2. Saif El-Din Nasr Min Allah.

10/06/2016

Military Intelligence forces arrested Babiker Sharif Krmeno from El-Roseires east district as he left the mosque after morning prayers. He was arrested for criticising the Janjaweed militiamen that had been brought to Demazin and were involved in causing violence and fear amongst the civilian population.


15/06/2016

SPLM-N forces killed Youssef Abu Hayat Mohamed, a local farmer in Bik village. The victim was killed with a knife inside his home. A local witness stated that he was killed for refusing to stop working on his farmland.


19/06/2016

Military Intelligence officials released two civilians, who had been detained incommunicado since their arrest in May and March 2016, respectively. Both were alleged to have supported the SPLM-N in some capacity.

During their detention they confirmed that detainees were prevented from contacting their families, washing, and praying. One of the civilians furthermore stated that he was detained in a container with another 120 people, beaten every morning, and only allowed to use the toilet once a day.


West Kordofan


10/06/2016

A unit of police officers under the command of First Lieutenant “Mustafa” shot dead two civilians and injured another two whilst investigating the stealing of a weapon in Neem oil field area. The police attended Neem Village near the oil field where they asked the local civilians to hand over the thief who stole the weapon. The civilians responded to the police stating that they were unaware of the person responsible, to which the police demanded that the civilians go with them. When the civilians refused to do so the police opened fire on them. The injured civilians were taken to Khartoum in order to receive treatment. The incident was also reported to the police in Al-Fula.

Monitors identified the following civilians as killed:

  1. Mahmoud Azaz Mohamed;
  2. Mahdi Azaz Mohamed.

The following two sustained injuries:

  1. Mohamed Hamed Mahmoud;
  2. Fadlallah Hamdeen.

Khartoum


01/06/2016

The administration of Assayha newspaper banned the publication of a column by the journalist and the former newspaper’s editor Ahmed Yousuf Al-Tai titled nbd li alwatan (Pulse of the Homeland).


12/06/2016

The Press and Publications Court held a special session following an investigation conducted by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) against the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ayaam newspaper and a journalist at the same newspaper. Mahgoub Mohamed Saleh and Omaima Al-Mardi were both charged relating to an article concerning the connection between cancer and waste disposal at the Merowe Dam. The court has delayed issuing a verdict, though have provisionally identified a session on the 12th July.


12/06/2016

The Press and Publications Court resumed session following an investigation conducted by the University of Rabat against the Editor-in-Chief of Al-Jareeda newspaper and a journalist by the name of Aza Ibn Oaf, at the same newspaper. They have both been charged relating to an article they published concerning the presence of drugs in the university.

The charges were levelled on the 31st May under articles 24 (Criminal Conspiracy), 26 (Assisting), and 159 (Defamation) of the 1991 Sudanese Criminal Act. The court sentenced the defence to a fine estimated at around 10,000,000 SDG, to be shared equally between the newspaper and the journalist.


12/06/2016

The Press and Publications court continued proceedings in the trial of journalist Al-Hodibi Yassin relating to an article he wrote about the sale of Ismail Al-Azhari’s home, the first leader of an independent Sudan. It is expected that the court will hear from defence witnesses next month. The case has been open for over a year.


16/06/2016

The Khartoum North court continued the trial of Imad Sadiq and Erwa Sadiq, both members of the National Umma Party and brothers, who were arrested in December last year. Erwa Sadiq was arrested after he published an article via social media against the National Intelligence and Security Services. Both individuals have been charged with article 50 (undermining the constitutional system; potential punishment includes “death, life imprisonment or for a lesser period”) and article 160 (insult and abuses; potential punishment includes “imprisonment, for a term, not exceeding one month, or with whipping, not exceeding twenty five lashes, or with a fine”).

The court has been converted into a terrorism court headed by Judge Saleh Al-Din Al-Hakim. The court heard on this day the testimony of telecommunications and internet expert Munzir Abu Maali.


19/06/2016

The administration of Al-Rayaam newspaper prevented the publishing of a column authored by Hassan Farouk, head of the sport section. The administration claimed that Hassan Farouk used the articles solely as a means to disseminate his political agenda.


20/06/2016

Two members of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) ordered the confiscation of an estimated 12,500 copies of Akhir Lahza newspaper at the Printing Press.


26/06/2016

Members of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested Ali Dalil, a student and member of the Student Independent Conference, from Bahri Central Station following his participation in a political forum.


28/06/2016

Mohamed Bagari, a student at the University of East Nile was sentenced to death by hanging by a court in Khartoum North. The student had been detained since 2015 following the death of a university student who was affiliated with the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

The incident followed an assault by NCP students on members of the Darfur Student Association, during which a student affiliate of the NCP was killed. Members of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested the Darfuri students following the violence before releasing them all except Mohamed Bagari, who was subsequently transferred to the court and accused of murder. The court initially sentenced him to five years imprisonment; however, the relatives of the deceased student demanded the application of the death penalty.


Developments Pertaining to Freedom of the Press and Expression

Since the new Parliamentary session began in April, the Government and Parliamentarians have repeatedly criticised and threatened to further curtail the freedom of the press and freedom of expression, already at an exceptionally low standard. The Parliamentary speaker, Ibrahim Ahmed Omar, criticised the inaccuracy of media reports and stressed that the issue of media is heavily related to national security, a belief that frames Government behaviour and attitude with media outlets.

Meanwhile the Chair of the Security and Defence Committee, General Ahmed Thami, verbally attacked the press as well as specific journalists, stating that their articles were provocative against the armed forces. He further vowed to put an end to their inflammatory writings. Another member of the Committee, Fadul Al-Molaa Al-Ahja, alleged that the media acts in a manner that the armed opposition have thus far failed to do, and, as such, the press are destructive and should be considered the first enemy of Sudan.

Not only are the Government and Parliamentarians concerned about traditional media outlets, they are also worried about the use of social media. During a Parliamentary hearing on the 28th June, the Minister of Information, Ahmed Bilal Osman, criticised the use of social media and its role in spreading unsubstantiated rumours throughout Sudan. He further stated that the government should work to better address the balance between freedom and responsibility for those using social media. During that same meeting other speakers expressed concern at the role that social media played in undermining the government and Sudan in general. They stated their intention to establish a greater online presence in English to repel such attacks.

On the 13th June, 2016, the General-Secretary of the National Council for Press and Publications, Abdel Azim Awad, announced the figures relating to the spread of Sudanese newspapers in 2015. The report signalled a steady decline in newspaper circulation over the last four years. It further identified the circulation of 49 newspapers including 30 comprehensive, 12 sport, and 7 social. Some 64% of all newspaper editions are distributed in Khartoum.


1.     Rapid Support Forces (6); Military Intelligence (4); National Intelligence and Security Services (4); the National Council for Press and Publications (3); Sudanese Armed Forces (2); Police (2); Border Guards (2); Sudanese Air Force (1); Sudanese Officials (1); and the Sudanese Judiciary (1).

2.     Militias that SUDO monitors have thus far been unable to define. They may be paramilitary forces controlled directly by the Government, such as the Rapid Support Forces, or they may have a more irregular relationship with the Government, for example similar to various Janjaweed militias. The pattern and nature of the attacks lead SUDO monitors, victims and eyewitnesses to conclude that they are Government affiliated in some form, though not necessarily orchestrated by the Government. 

Incident Tags

Locations

Share