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Reactions To Khartoum’s Arrests Of Opposition Leaders

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Reactions To Khartoum’s Arrests Of Opposition Leaders

Posted by Amanda Hsiao on December 8, 2009

Reactions To Khartoum's Arrests Of Opposition Leaders

Here’s a round-up of some reactions and footage in the aftermath of yesterday’s opposition protests in Sudan.

Amnesty International strongly condemned yesterday’s events, and reports that more than 200 people were arrested. Calling the Sudanese government’s response to the protests “a violent crackdown,” the organization also said it received reports that those arrested were being tortured in detention. The organization said in its statement:

This is yet another example of the culture of violence that the Sudanese government has adopted. We ask the government to immediately announce the names and whereabouts of those arrested and to charge them with recognized criminal offences or else secure their immediate release. This widespread use of violence and torture against opposition and human rights activists as well as ordinary civilians must stop now.

In a rather tepid response to the situation, Ashraf Qazi, the UN’s Special Representative to Sudan, issued a statement calling on all parties to implement the 2005 peace agreement signed by North and South Sudan. He expressed concern over the violence and said that the events came at a “very critical” stage in negotiations between the north and south ruling parties. Qazi also emphasized the importance of political rights and freedoms in the lead-up to elections and referendum.

Pagan Amum, Secretary General of the south’s ruling SPLM, and one of several opposition leaders arrested by Khartoum police during the rally, has come out to say that the protests will continue until electoral reforms are made. He told the BBC:

We are not deterred by the violence the National Congress [Party] has meted out. The National Congress has a very sinister, dangerous plan that must be stopped.

Take a look at some footage of the rally found on Al-Jazeera (in Arabic)—thanks to Save Darfur’s blog for the find.

Also, here are some pictures of the detention of opposition leaders and the protests, from Sudan Tribune.


Photo: Woman demonstrates in opposition rally in Sudan.