Accessibility links

Family Members of Students Detained in Sudan

  • Carol Van Dam Falk

Riot police on standby in streets of Khartoum

Riot police on standby in streets of Khartoum

The protests may be small in Sudan, but they are far from over. Two protests turned violent today; one at Khartoum University, the other at Sudan University south of the Sudanese capital.

When Khartoum University students went to the Vice Chancellor’s office to inquire about the closure of their school, activists say police showed up and fired tear gas to disperse them. Students also clashed with police at Sudan University.

At Khartoum University, police detained not only several students but also their family members who came to security headquarters to protest the students’ detainment. Eye witnesses say it all began when riot police jumped over a fence and fired tear gas at students living in a female dormitory. The students were told to vacate the building with the end of the school year but some from other states remained in the building, saying they had nowhere else to go.

The anti-government protests began over a month ago, but they no longer occur every day and most do not attract large numbers in part, because people are afraid of the ongoing government crackdown. Still, protests continue to increase in size on Fridays after prayer services.

Around 200 lawyers took to the streets yesterday to protest the continued crackdown on student protestors and activists in the Sudanese capital. Saleh Mahmoud, a member of the Lawyers Association in Sudan, says Sudanese law allows people to march in the streets to express their political views. He says Sudanese law does not allow illegal detention of a person for more than twenty four hours.

Mahmoud says Sudanese security forces have been holding an unknown number of protestors for more than four weeks. He says the government should provide access to lawyers who want to visit various detention centers around the country.