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Police forcibly end protest against dam project in Sudan

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 17 February 2016.

In response to Sudanese authorities in Khartoum violently dispersing peaceful protestors, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"The government of Sudan continues to forcibly suppress dissent and undermine citizens' right to assemble," said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs.

"The beating and arrest of peaceful demonstrators protesting a project that would uproot thousands of Sudanese and destroy valuable heritage sites shows the government's disregard for fundamental rights."

Background:

On February 17, 2016, Sudanese activists and the Committee against the Dams demonstrated against the construction of dams in Northern Sudan. The dam project, funded by Saudi Arabia, threatens to flood hundreds of villages, force thousands of families from their homes, and destroy archaeological and historical sites. The protesters called for the government not to displace civilians and to conserve heritage sites.

Sudan is rated Not Free in "Freedom in the World 2016", Not Free in "Freedom of the Press 2015", and Not Free in "Freedom on the Net 2016".

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