Sudan Detaining Dozens of Students After Protests

Publication date: 
May 25 2016

Sudanese authorities have detained dozens of students and activists without charge since protests erupted on university campuses in mid-April, Human Rights Watch said.

Security forces cracked down on the demonstrations in the capital, Khartoum, and other cities using tear gas, rubber bullets and, in some cases, live ammunition, the New York-based rights group said in a statement.

At least two students were killed and many others injured, while some of those detained are being held in undisclosed locations, without access to lawyers or family, putting them at risk of torture, according to Human Rights Watch. Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman didn’t answer three phone calls from Bloomberg seeking comment.

The protests stemmed from issues including the sale of university buildings and the earlier detention of protesters, the rights group said. The unrest represents one of the most serious challenges to President Umar al-Bashir’s government in the North African nation’s cities since September 2013, when subsidy cuts caused fuel prices to almost double overnight. Human Rights Watch says security forces killed more than 170 protesters in that period -- a figure denied by Sudan’s government, which blamed the violence on criminals.

Samuel Gebre