Target: Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan
Goal: End arbitrary detainment of peaceful political activists.
Instead of allowing people to peacefully protest, the Sudanese government has been arbitrarily detaining political activists, which include students and opposition party members. The government is also responsible for allegedly abusing detainees.
The political turmoil began after a group of activists created the Irhal campaign, or “Go!” in Arabic. The campaign, aimed at protesting political injustices in the country, was quickly recognized by the domestic government as a ploy to overthrow leaders and disrupt upcoming elections. As a result, the Sudanese government has been rampantly detaining these activists.
A majority of the detainees are facing serious charges, many of which carry the death penalty. Ironically, Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, faces criminal charges for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide committed in Darfur. And yet, the country’s election commission announced his reelection.
In the past, countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Norway have criticized Sudan’s government for ignoring free and fair elections, which is why political activist groups like Irhal come about. Low voter turnout and excessive violence are just a few of the attributes of Sudan’s dire political climate, and now arbitrary detainment, intimidation and alleged detainee abuse join the list.
To date, Irhal has no known history of violence, nor has the group been involved in any plots to overthrow the government. Peaceful political activists deserve the right to add their thoughts and opinions to the political conversation and shouldn’t be charged for doing so.
Sign the petition to encourage President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan to release arbitrarily detained political activists and investigate alleged detainee abuse.
Dear President Omar al-Bashir,
It has recently come to my attention that the Sudanese government is rampantly detaining political activists and administering unfounded charges for peaceful protest. The political campaign known as Irhal seeks bring about knowledge of the political injustices and issues that Sudan faces in a peaceful, intelligent manner. Instead of allowing these activists to freely voice their thoughts and opinions, you’ve launched an all out war against them—arbitrarily detaining them and allegedly abusing them while they are in custody.
Since your reelection, violence has erupted and voter turnout at the community level has nearly diminished. The Sudanese population continues to question the government’s ability to engage in free and fair elections, and the intimidation and fear you’ve instilled into your population violates a fundamental human right: freedom of expression.
I urge you to stop stifling the voices of political dissenters, release political activists from arbitrary detainment, and drop unfounded charges against these innocent people. To arrest people for their real or perceived political views when they’ve done nothing to disturb the peace or overthrow the government is simply wrong and the citizens of Sudan should always feel that their voices and opinions matter, especially with regards to politics.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Sandstein