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Sudan: Security forces violently respond to student protests

This statement was originally published on freedomhouse.org on 5 May 2016.

In response to Sudanese security forces responding to peaceful student demonstrations with tear gas, water cannons, and live ammunition, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"The government of Sudan is resorting to violence to silence dissent among its own citizens," said Vukasin Petrovic, director for Africa programs. "The ongoing student protests in several cities reflect deep frustration with the government refusing to abide by rule of law, and its unwillingness to listen to critics. The government should immediately release the students who have been arbitrarily detained and hold to account authorities responsible for the violence."

Background:

Since mid-April, students across Sudan have held peaceful demonstrations on issues including the long-running conflict in Darfur and the decision by the Government to sell the University of Khartoum campus. Two university students have died as security forces responded to the protests.

On April 19, 2016, Abubakar Hassan, a student at the University of Kordofan in El Obeid, North Kordofan state, died after being shot in the head. Twenty-seven other students were injured, five of them seriously. The violence occurred when National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), intercepted students marching towards the Student Union to submit a list of pro-opposition candidates for student union elections.

On April 27, 2016, Mohamed al-Sadiq Wayo, a student at Omdurman Ahlia University in Khartoum State, died after being shot in the chest, apparently by security officials, after a political forum organized by the Nuba Mountain Students' Association.

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

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