Press release

Sudan: Freedom House Condemns Killing of Peaceful Protesters by Security Forces

Justice and accountability are essential to a peaceful democratic transition in Sudan.

In response to the security forces’ lethal crackdown on peaceful protests in Khartoum that were organized by the families of those killed during the 2018–19 Sudanese revolution, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“We are deeply concerned by the excessive use of force by security forces against civilians,” said Jon Temin, director of Africa programs at Freedom House. “Freedom House stands in solidarity with the families of the June 3, 2019 massacre victims and is proud to have awarded the 2020 Freedom Award to the Organization of the December Revolution Martyrs’ Families. We urge the transitional government to uphold the rule of law, and we firmly believe that achieving justice and accountability for crimes committed against citizens is an essential component of a peaceful democratic transition in Sudan.”


In December 2018, Sudanese citizens launched a peaceful prodemocracy protest movement against the former authoritarian regime that ultimately resulted in the ouster of longtime president Omar al-Bashir in April 2019. On June 3, 2019, during a period of military rule, security forces raided a sit-in near Khartoum’s military headquarters, killing well over 100 peaceful protesters. In August 2019, civilian groups and military representatives formed a transitional government with a mandate to prepare the country for elections, in part by achieving justice and accountability for atrocities committed against protesters during the revolution.

On May 11, 2021, families of those killed in the June 3 massacre organized a commemorative gathering at the site of the incident. Thousands of Sudanese stood in solidarity with the families, which demanded justice and accountability on behalf of their slain relatives. Security forces stormed the gathering, leading to the deaths of two protesters and an unknown number of injuries.

Sudan is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2021 and Not Free in Freedom on the Net 2020.