Sudan: Security forces continue deadly onslaught on protestors and medical personnel

18 January 2019

Spokespersons available to take media interviews

Sudan’s security forces must stop their ongoing deadly onslaught on protesters and medical personnel, Amnesty International said today following the death of a doctor, a man and a child from gunshot wounds inflicted during the 17 January protests in Khartoum’s Burri district. 

The organization also received reports of further raids of medical facilities by security personnel, who fired teargas inside hospitals and assaulted doctors. 

“It is an outrage that Sudanese security forces continue to use lethal force on protestors and key service providers like doctors, killing people in an unbridled spree that is even affecting children, said Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

The Sudanese authorities must immediately take charge of the security forces and ensure they stop using lethal force against protestors. They must also bring to an immediate end the continued onslaught against medical facilities and personnel, injured protestors and other people seeking treatment in hospitals, which constitutes violations of the rights to health and personal integrity.”

Amnesty International spoke to a medical doctor on duty at Al Faisal Specialized Hospital in Khartoum on Thursday, who said security forces raided the hospital in the afternoon, fired teargas and arrested him and another doctor, as well as two other medical staff. The medics, who were beaten during the arrest, were detained and interrogated at the National Intelligence and Security Services offices. He was released without charge after 8:30pm, while the others were released several hours later.

The organization also verified videos shared on social media and via WhatsApp showing security forces opening fire on protesters gathered at a football pitch near a mosque in Khartoum’s Burri district on Thursday. At least one fell to the ground as a result of his injury and had to be carried away by other protesters. The injured were reportedly taken to Royal Care Hospital, where many protesters remained overnight.  

On 17 January, Sudan’s security forces fired teargas into homes and buildings in the Burri area, an outright contravention of international guidelines on the use of force that require all force to comply with the principles of necessity and proportionality and forbid the use of teargas in confined spaces.

“This blatant violation of national and international laws must stop immediately, and independent and impartial investigations must be promptly launched into all allegations of human rights violations, including the deaths reported in the context of the protests, so that all those found responsible are brought to justice in fair trials,” said Sarah Jackson.

“By participating in these protests, the people of Sudan are exercising their legitimate rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Instead of trying to curtail these rights, the government should address the root causes of the economic crisis that has driven the people to the streets.”

Sudan: Security officers pursue injured protestors into hospital

10 January 2019

Spokespersons available to take media interviews

Sudanese security officers last night entered a hospital and fired live bullets and teargas horrifying patients and hospital staff as they pursued people seeking treatment after they sustained gunshot injuries during protests earlier in the day in Omdurman, on the outskirts of Khartoum.

The security officers opened fire in the hospital court yard and then marched into the emergency and medical sections of the Omdurman Hospital roughing up both patients and doctors.

“This attack on a hospital is an outrageous violation of international law. Patients and doctors in Omdurman Hospital were attacked with tear gas and live bullets as Sudanese security forces ramped up their mission to suppress peaceful protests,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, Sarah Jackson.

“There must be an urgent investigation into this horrific attack, and all officers involved must be held accountable. The Government of Sudan must also take immediate action to stop the practice of shooting protesters and respect the Sudanese people’s right to freedom of expression.”

Since 19 December 2018 there have been more than 380 protests across Sudan against the high cost of living. More than 40 people have been killed and many more have sustained debilitating injuries as government security officers violently cracked down on protestors. More than 1,000 people have been arrested.

On 9 January, at least three people were killed when security forces opened fire on protestors in Omdurman, while eight people were hospitalized with gunshot wounds in the head, chest, stomach and legs.

 

Amnesty International today called for the urgent release of a man who was shot and injured in protests on December 25 and is now being held by the security officers from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

Yasser Elsir Ali, 57, sustained serious injuries at a protest in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. A bullet fractured his ribs, punctured a lung, and lodged in his spinal cord.  After being stabilized in hospital, Yasser was due to travel to the United Arab Emirates for specialized spinal treatment but was arrested by NISS officers on 5 January. His whereabouts remain unknown.

“The Sudanese authorities must immediately release Yasser Elsir Ali and allow him to go for treatment. His life is in jeopardy and he needs urgent specialized medical attention,” said Sarah Jackson.

“They must also immediately and unconditionally release those people who have been arrested simply for peacefully protesting. It is not a crime to call for a better standard of living.”