Free Sudanese Student Jailed for Criticizing President


Target: Mohamed Bushara Dousa, Minster of Justice

Goal: Secure the release and ascertain the whereabouts of a student jailed for criticizing the presidents of Sudan and Chad

A recent conference about armed conflicts in Darfur took a chilling turn when a student attendee was arrested for voicing his criticism over the way the situation was handled by the Chadian and Sudanese presidents. The student has not been heard from since he was removed from the conference hall, and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment. He must be located and freed immediately.

Tajeldin Ahmed Arja, a Sudanese writer and blogger whose family was displaced during the crisis in Darfur, was attending a December 24 conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Both President Bashir of Sudan and President Deby of Chad were in attendance. According to witnesses, Tajeldin Ahmed Arja “stood up at the start of the conference…and criticized them,” blaming them for the crisis in Darfur. He was immediately apprehended by eight presidential security guards and removed from the conference hall. He has been held incommunicado ever since.

Peacefully expressing political dissent is not a crime. Even if Tajeldin Ahmed Arja’s behavior were enough to get him thrown out of the conference, it certainly does not constitute an arrest-worthy offense. Amnesty International reports that Sudanese security forces often use incommunicado detention, torture, and other unsavory tactics against “protesters, activists and perceived political opponents.” Tajeldin Ahmed Arja and his family have suffered enough already; do not allow him to be further maltreated by his own government. Sign the petition and demand freedom for Tajeldin Ahmed Arja.


Your Excellency,

I am writing to inquire into the whereabouts of Tajeldin Ahmed Arja, who was arrested on December 24, and to demand his immediate release.

The only “crime” Tajeldin Ahmed Arja can be charged with is peacefully expressing a dissenting political view–which is not even a crime at all by international human rights standards. He has not been seen or heard from since his detention, and human rights organizations like Amnesty International fear that he is at severe risk of torture or ill-treatment based on the precedent set by Sudanese security forces’ treatment of other “protesters, activists, and perceived political opponents.”

Tajeldin Ahmed Arja and his family, who were displaced during the early days of the conflict in North Darfur, have already suffered so much. Do not force Tajeldin Ahmed Arja to suffer an incommunicado detention and possible torture and ill-treatment on top of everything else. Free Tajeldin Ahmed Arja immediately.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Barnellbe via Wikimedia Commons

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58 Signatures

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