Freedom House Calls for Release of Sudanese Activists
Freedom House calls for the immediate release of five Girifna youth movement activists in Khartoum, Sudan and others arrested after recent protests throughout the country. The National Intelligence and Security Service arrested Nagi Musa, Amar Dirar, Gazi Altayeb, Mohamed Mahjoub, and a fifth unidentified individual on January 25, hours after Girifna held a forum to highlight human rights abuses in the east of the country and commemorate the government forces’ massacre of unarmed civilians in Port Sudan in 2005. Other student activists, including Taj Alsir Jaafa and participants of December 2011 university protests, remain imprisoned without access to lawyers – their whereabouts are unknown. They are at serious risk of torture and other abuses by the Sudanese government. Freedom House calls for the release of all those arrested without due process for expressing their rights as outlined in the Sudanese constitution.
Sudan, ruled by a military-backed regime that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power in 1989, is considered by Freedom House to be one of the world's worst human rights abusers. President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his involvement in the Darfur conflict. Since South Sudan achieved independence in July 2011, Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party has brutally cracked down on peaceful protests throughout the country and continued to fight rebels in Darfur, and most recently, in the South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states in an effort to maintain its grip on power.