Periodic Report- September 2013
Security situation in the war zones remained relatively calm as a result of unilateral cease-fire declared by SPLA/N for one month. However aerial bombarding is still continuing. Basic commodities prices has dramatically increased due to the latest government decision to stop subsidizing the fuel. This has led to waves of protests in many cities. Sudanese authorities led aggressive crackdown against peaceful protestor, at least two hundreds were killed and many more injured. Moreover, at least one thousand activists, journalists, opposition parties members and protester detained.
Protests expected to reoccur widely to include many other cities.
Sudanese cities appeared to be like a military garrisons, vehicles heavily armed, tanks and soldiers patrolling the streets and alleys, a wave of arbitrary arrest of dissent has been the case since the end of September. In addition, since Sept. 29 Public Defense Forces including Janjaweed have been seen in Khartoum.
The excessive use of power against the peaceful protests, resulted in many deaths and injuries. Furthermore, many injured have no access to good health services. What is more is that doctors were ordered not to give any information details on the causes of death and some have been forced to report faulty information. This aggressive crackdown have led to so many activists being hided or escaped and other have been terrified to silence .
South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states are still suffering from aerial bombardment , prompting many to fled to neighboring countries joining the refugee camps.
This month has witnessed many incidences of assassinations and kidnappings in Darfur, especially Nyala city.
The amended National Military Service Act, which gives the ministry of defense the power to call upon any male citizen between 18 – 60 years old and forces them to join the military and fight; has been put onto action starting from last month. As a result of this many youths have escaped outside the country, it is reported that about 400 young men escaped from Blue Nile State and sought refuge in Bumbasi refugee camp in Ethiopia
In order to pass the decision on fuel subsidies undisturbed, the issue of President Omar Bashir visa to USA to attend the UN General Assembly meetings was brought into the media to draw the attention of the people away from what they were intending to do. People were astonished when they were faced by a sudden increment of all prices .
On September 19, the President held a press conference to justify the increases, he claimed that his period is the best ever seen in Sudan. He challenged the citizens that they have lived in his prosperity and luxury, and they got to know types of food that they would have never known without his regime, such as the hot Duke and pizza. The same approach was followed by the Minister of Finance. These statements as well as the increments in prices had led to a massive protest in many cities:
On the same day (19 September ) minor protests erupted in Khartoum city center, coincided with demonstrations in Nyala for a different reason (the assassination of a businessman and his son ). All of them were faced by excessive power use by the security forces at least 20 people were killed and injured, on the same the authorities announced a curfew at night , and still effective in Nyala.
On September 20, there was general grumbling remarks due to Nyala events, sporadic protests and anticipation warned citizens and government authorities.
On September 21, morning there was demonstration at the University of Khartoum protesting against the excessive use of power in Nyala. On the same day there were sporadic strikes in Khartoum and Omdurman cities .
On September 22, there were mass protests in Wad Medani , again there was excessive use of power, tens were injured, many more were injured and hundreds were arrested. The condition escalated and a wave of protests were seen in all cities of Khartoum and outside Khartoum including Port Sudan , Atbara , El Obeid, Kosti , Sennar, Malha (North Darfur), Adeilla ( Eastern Darfur State ) and Kassala , while continuing in Wad Medani. Authorities an awful excessive power against the peaceful demonstrators, which resulted into the following :
· Deaths of more than two hundred demonstrators and more injured.
· A wave of arrest, more than a thousand of protesters including activists, journalists and members of opposition parties were arrested.
· Internet services were cut down on 25th and 26th September
· Arabia and Sky News channels offices were closed on September 27.
· Press censorship was much more tide, three newspapers were withheld on September 19, namely Alayam, Algareeda and Alintibaha.
This has prompted them to:
1. Journalists' union went on two strikes each for two days ( 27-29 September) and ( 1-3 October), the success rate was over eighty percent.
2. Many newspapers rejected a conditional release ordered by the security services such as Alayam.
3. Many journalists have resigned from their post, a good example is Abdel-Fadil Mohamed Hamed , from Asahafa newspaper, who resigned on September 29. He published the reason for his resignation on his facebook that he was astonished when he saw an article on the newspaper under his name, that he has no idea about it.
· Worth mentioning that, Asahafa newspaper press in 25th September described the protesters as vandals and spoilers
· Protests still continuing sporadically, despite the intensive crackdown.
Since the latest wave of protests many people are missed and not yet know whether are alive, dead or detained , as the government still denying to disclose the real numbers and names of the dead and the detainees (there are a list by some names attached with this report); there are still a lot of families looking for their children in hospitals and police stations, since there is no way to reach the security offices (some ladies went there were arrested) .
A group of members of National Security and Intelligence Services have been seen in Khartoum suburb (Haj Yousef) while there were trying to bury nine corpses, however they fled as they had seen the people.
Basic commodities prices continued to rise, particularly in conflict areas.
As a result of the wave of peaceful protests in many Sudanese cities, there has been a shocking escalation on the crackdown dissents, a wave of arrests has taken place, the Security forces have arrested over thousand activists, journalists and members of opposition parties. Arrests included all ages, many of them are youth and some are children under seventeen. The crackdown is still going on, it has also been reported that prisons are full, and the authority is using some houses in Khartoum to keep the detainees.
Blue Nile’s Trials::
During the hearings session of the 17th of September 2013, at Senja Criminal Court chaired by Judge/ Abdell Monaem Younis issued its judgments against six accused persons regarding the case No (4325/ 2011) as following:
Ali Idriss and Sadam Abass were convicted and sentenced to jail for 12 years each in accordance to articles 21, 50, and 51 of the Criminal Act and article 6 of the Terrorism Act.
Nabeil Taha convicted according to article 69/ 2 of the Child Laws and sentenced to jail for 4 years starting from the day of conviction despite the medical report presented before the court which states that the convicted child is underage (below 17 years), meanwhile, the child has been in custody since 2011 (before turning 15 years).
The court freed three persons (Elnour Jackin Jackouni / Ali Tugul Bulaad / Hassan Suliman Mussa) after spending two years in custody for nothing .
Please also note that Elnour Jackin Jackouni was detained after being freed by the court, shockingly this his second time to be rearrested after the judiciary order to free him.
In a procedural hearing session the court looked at the case 4176/ 2011 regarding the 77 suspects during which the Accusation Representative Consultant/ Mohamed Faried was present.
As we stated in an earlier report the possibility of annexing new suspects to the case is very high, indeed 17 persons were added among of them is the SPLM-N Chairman Malik Aggar who will be tried absently. The court had set the dates 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th of September to continue hearings on this case, but it has been postponed to 28th, 29th, 30 and 31st of October due to the recent protests in the country.
· On the 30th of September the SPLM-N declared the end of one side cease fire for one month which was announced in solidarity with the people affected by the rains and floods in August, meanwhile, the government Air Forces continued the bombardment on many areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
· On 23rd of September in an unexpected move the Security Authorities in Khartoum released the Lawyer/ Mussa Zakaria Jojo who spent more than four months in detention .
· Babanousa town of the newly born state (West Kordofan) is expected to join the wave of riots and demonstrations , on 29th September, a group of youth blocked the ways to the two oil fields Baleila and Heglig. Furthermore, the authorities have detained three civilians on 27th September and freed them on 28th of same month after filing criminal cases against them, as they were caught distributing papers advocating for peaceful demonstration; namely they are:
1. Mohammed Yousif.
2. Bahaeldin Abdalla.
3. Gamae Rahamtalla.
· On the 28th of September the Minister of Interior in a press conference had announced the death of 28 persons and 600 arrested.
· On the 30th of September in another press conference included the Minister of Interior, the minister of Information and the governor of Khartoum State, they were confronted by a question from a journalist/ Burham Abduelmoneim “why do you insist on lying and holding of power seats in account to the innocents and the martyrs bodies”. Subsequently he was arrested, interrogated and released on the same day. On his release Mr. Bahram commented that “ he was released and saved because of the live broadcast from their grip”
· On the 1st of October in a press conference, the president described the protests as sabotage and foreign conspiracy, while stuck with his decision and to withdraw the fuel subsidies no matter how the prices might increase.
· A group of 31 member of the ruling party NCP condemned the extreme use of power against the protestors demanding the party to review its decisions. The party’s threatened to punish them, whoever, speculations says the number of signatories to the Memo is increasing.
· A group of protestors on 26th of September had captured three security persons looting an ATM machine, they were:
1. Corporal/ Altahir Suleiman Alhassani.
2. Corporal/ Khalid Abdul Baggi Alnefesh.
3. Solder/ Idris Abdul Jabbar Idris.
· Forces for Change Coordination body was born as well as Sudanese Professional Union which includes (Sudanese Doctors' Federation, Teachers’ Committee, Free Advocates forum, University Professors Committee, Sudanese Journalists Network and the Bankers Union)
· Trials of protest detainees started, the charges under the articles of criminal laws, riots and chaos were 2 to 6 month jail, 10 to 20 lashes and 100 SDG fine; trials were as follows:
1. 2nd of October in Wad- Meddni 45 protestors were tried while 25 other case referred to the child court for ages between 12- 14 years.
2. 3rd of October in Haj- Yousif suburb in Khartoum North ( Baharri) the court convicted many protestors, meanwhile other 35 protestors including children are to be tried on the 6th this month.
3. 3rd of October in Um- Badah suburb in Omdurman 14 protestors were tried.