The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) condemns Monday’s military coup in Sudan, as well as the resulting violent crackdown on dissent and ongoing Internet shutdowns in the country. HRF also expresses grave concern over the well-being of the people of Sudan, including those who have been arrested for protesting and being vocal against the coup.
On Monday, Sudan’s military seized power from the civilian transitional cabinet that it was sharing power with, following the 2019 popular uprising which led the army to depose long-time military dictator Omar al-Bashir. As the military detained Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok and other civilian political leaders, the Internet was cut across the country. Later that day, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan formally announced the dissolution of the civilian government and the Sovereign Council — the power-sharing military-civilian institution established to help transition the country into democracy — and the imposition of a state of emergency. The military takeover followed an alleged failed coup attempt in September attributed to the al-Bashir regime.
“Sudan’s military — led by the same generals who oversaw the genocide in Darfur under Omar al-Bashir’s brutal rule — is dragging the country back into a full-blown dictatorship after almost two years of hope for democratization,” said HRF Chief Legal Officer Roberto González. “The junta should immediately release all political prisoners, end the violent and deadly crackdown on dissent, and lift the Internet restrictions that have been imposed.”
Since Monday, thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the military takeover. Security forces have responded with tear gas and live ammunition. According to news reports, at least 11 people have been killed and 170 injured. On Tuesday, the junta allowed deposed prime minister Hamdok to return home. However, dozens of people, including prominent civilian officials and politicians, journalists, and pro-democracy activists, have been detained in unknown locations, many for either speaking out against the coup or calling for demonstrations. The junta has also carried out purges of prominent Sudanese diplomats and civil servants who are opposed to the coup, and ordered the dissolution of all labor and trade unions and professional associations. Despite the crackdown, these civilian groups are continuing a nationwide campaign of civil disobedience called by Sudan’s main opposition coalition.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.