Sudan: Women Detainees Released, Flogging Verdicts Quashed

Protests in Khartoum

Omdurman — On Tuesday, the Omdurman Women's Prison in Sudan released a large number of young women who were held during demonstrations over the past weeks. Large crowds in front of the prison chanted slogans condemning the recently imposed State of Emergency and calling for the overthrow of the government.

On the same day, the Court of Appeal in Khartoum overturned the verdicts of El Imtidad Emergency Court on Saturday against nine young women. They were sentenced to one-month imprisonment and 20 lashes after being detained while they were demonstrating against the government in Burri district in Khartoum on Thursday.

The Court of Appeal in Omdurman also overturned sentences against a number of other demonstrators and reduced penalties of others. Charges against 11 demonstrators in Omdurman and Khartoum were also dropped.

International Women's Day

On Friday March 8, dozens of women in Omdurman women's prison entered a hunger strike to protest the oppression and arbitrary detention of women and celebrate International Women's Day.

In a gesture to mark International Women's Day, Al Bashir told the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), which has been central to the suppression of protests, to release all women who have been detained in connection with the protests.

Opposition activists estimate that more than 150 women have been imprisoned for participating in protests.

Call to release all detainees

On Tuesday, families of detained activists and protesters carried out a vigil in front of the office of the National Human Rights Commission in Khartoum to demand the release of detainees in the demonstrations since December.

Protesters held banners calling for the immediate release of detainees and rejecting arbitrary arrests.

In a memorandum submitted to the National Human Rights Commission, the relatives of the detainees held incommunicado announced intention to sue the President, the Minister of Justice and the Director of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) before local, regional and international courts.

They explained that they are in the process of establishing an international body to defend the Sudanese detainees.

The memorandum held the government responsible for their safety and any harm they will be subjected to because of the health, environmental or psychological deterioration.

They considered the current arrests a violation of the constitution, pointing out that they have continued for more than two months without identifying their places of detention or giving any information to their families.

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