No. H.K/PS/42/020
23rdNovember 2020
                                                                                                             PRESS STATEMENT
                                                                       INTIMIDATION OF ACTIVISTS BY SAF IN BLUE NILE, SUDAN

On 20th November 2020, Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) in Blue Nile State (BN) intimidated activists and a senior civil servant at Massfa village. This was because of speech in a public address. They were later released after interrogation. On 20th November 2020, Massfa Youth Association in collaboration with Community Animators Friends Association (CAFA) conducted a cultural day and public/political address in Massfa village about peace process and peace agreement. The event was attended by senior officials. Dr. Hassan Hamza was one of the invited speakers who came from Damazin. In his speech/address, he mentioned that the basic education should be free of charge to reduce the dropout rates which leads the youth into joining military or becoming laborers at farms (agricultural schemes). After the event, Dr. Hassan was on his way back to Damazin town accompanied by the deputy of the Bau locality executive officer (Mr. Abdalla Mahgoub), photographer from BN TV (Mr. Mujahid Mustafa) one of the youth (Mr. Omer Mohammed) and the car driver (Mr. Ali Eissa), they were stopped by SAF military soldiers and taken to the in charge officer lieutenant/ Abubaker Hassan who interrogated Dr. Hassan and accused him inciting hatred against military. The soldier also threatened to tie and beat them up while insulting them. They were released after one hour to resume their travel but, shortly after, they were obstructed again and taken to a higher ranking officer (Major. Yousif) who once again interrogated Dr. Hassan about his speech. It was after more than one hour and under pressure from the deputy executive officer of the state that they were released. Massfa is a village in Bau locality of BN state. Its location is approximately 63 km southwest of Damazin town. Dr. Hassan Hamza is an activist, a lecturer/ registrar of BN University and a member of the national economic consultants committee. CAFA is a Community Base Organization. HUDO is very concerned about the situation of civilians in conflict areas and calls upon;
· Sudan government to urgently consider the community’s demands and rights.
· Sudan government should ensure the safety of people exercising their constitutional rights.
· Sudan government to hold to account SAF commanders and soldiers who intimidated Dr. Hassan and his fellows.