Target: President Omar al-Bashir
Goal: Investigate protest killings and release all remaining political detainees
On September 23, 2013, scores of civilians were killed in an anti-government protest and the Sudanese government has not investigated their murders. The government has also detained several of these protesters for expressing their views and they have yet to be released. Demand that the president investigate these egregious murders and free all detainees who were wrongfully detained.
A report written by Humans Rights Watch detailed the arbitrary detentions, unlawful killings, and torture conducted by security forces on Sudanese citizens. The protests erupted from price increases and the severe economic measures that the nation implemented. The protests spread to the capital and other towns, forcing Sudanese forces to be dispatched. Witnesses say the police and security forces used batons, live ammunition, and teargas to break up the protest, but the excessive use of force led to the death of 170 people.
Despite evidence of the police and security forces attacking civilians, the government has denied these allegations. They continue to contest the numbers of people killed and deny that security forces had any involvement in it. The Sudanese government has created two investigative committees, but information that has been released blame the protesters for damaging buildings, instead of focusing on the death and torture that the protesters suffered. Other witnesses speak of officials blocking families from seeking justice. Hospitals refused to provide medical forms and the police refused to open any investigation. While lawyers claim to know the identity of the perpetrator, authorities will still do nothing and force the families to pursue justice on their own.
The Sudanese government also arrested human rights activists and opposition party members ahead of the protests. Security officials continued with the arrests throughout the protest, totaling to about 800 arrests. Many were released within a few days, but others endured flogging, fines, or torture.
The government is not allowed to punish those who wish to speak their minds, even if their beliefs do not align with the government. Every nation should listen to their people’s input without punishing them. Sign this petition and urge the president of Sudan to conduct a fair and transparent investigation into the death of these protesters, while also freeing the detainees that are still being held against their will.
Dear President Omar al-Bashir,
I am writing to demand that your government conduct a fair and transparent investigation into the deaths of 170 protesters on September 23, 2013. These protesters were participating in an anti-government protest, but that doesn’t give the Sudanese government the right to kill any civilian.
The right to freedom of speech and expression belongs to every human being. This means that your government cannot punish its people for expressing their ideals, no matter how different their ideals are to the government’s. These families are grieving for their loved ones and they deserve to know what happened. I demand that you conduct this investigation immediately and release all detainees arrested during this protest.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ENOUGH Project via flickr