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  • Sudanese demonstrators burn tires in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan, Jan. 20, 2019.

    Sudanese demonstrators burn tires in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan, Jan. 20, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 January 2019
Opinion

None of the more than 1,000 people arrested since Dec. 19 have been released yet.

Sudanese authorities announced Tuesday that all detainees held since the beginning of anti-government demonstrations on Dec. 19 will be released. However, the organizers of the protests said no one has been released so far.

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The Sudanese Information Ministry said that the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), Salah Abdallah Mohamed Saleh, ordered the release of all detainees in the "latest events."

The announcement was made a few days after religious leader Sadiq al-Mahdi called for the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir, amid the protests that have already claimed the lives of some 30 people.

The Sudanese government did not detail how many detainees there are, where they are, or the date on which they will be released.

A member of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the main organizer of the demonstrations, said that authorities have not released any detainee yet, explaining that more than 1,000 people have been arrested since Dec. 19, a number similar to that of other forces and opposition groups.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Interior disclosed, on Jan. 7, that there were more than 800 detainees in the framework of the demonstrations.

The official announcement did not halt new protests in the neighborhoods of Burri in the east of Khartoum, Al Kalakla and Yabra in the south of the capital or the neighboring cities of Um Durman and North Khartoum. In all these places, the security forces dispersed the demonstrators with tear gas.

According to the SPA, up to 12 marches took place in the streets of Khartoum and the Abri region in the north of the country. Likewise, thousands protested in the city of Port Sudan, on the coast of the Red Sea to commemorate the 14th anniversary of the death of 22 demonstrators at the hands of police.

Protesting has been repeated almost daily, in Sudan, for a month and a half. The demonstrations began as a popular reaction to the cost of basic products, especially bread, but they quickly became an anti-government movement demanding the resignation of President Omar al-Bashir.

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