Sudanese security forces are holding the students following a crackdown that raises many questions. Some of the students are reported to have been tortured.
Since last year, the management of the National Student's Support Fund " a government body for housing and accommodation of higher education students in Sudan" has pursued a policy of isolating Darfuri female students and housed them in the western part of ALZAHRA boarding complex which is in very poor living conditions. It is almost ramshackle and isolated from the rest of the boarding by a fence, enhanced with barbed wire, and has a separate entrance.
Just a week before the last Eid holiday (end of September 2014) the boarding management put an evacuation order for all students on the notice board - that ALZAHRA boarding house must be evacuated immediately and the President of the Fund would relocate all students to other boarding houses. Fourteen (14) students were hosted in AlBORHANIYA boarding in ALDAIM neighborhood and nine (9) in ALI ABDULFATAH boarding house. The rest of the students refused to leave as they had nowhere to go and could not afford to travel to their towns or villages in Darfur. They demanded that the student's fund find them a solution. Later on 6 October water and electricity were shut off from AlZAHRA boarding house.
On the same day, just near ALZAHRA boarding entrance the national security services arrested (4) students:
1- Hawa Suleiman Al Dooma known by Hawa KEYKO-ALazharee University
2- Arafa Mohamed Ibrahim-Omdurman Alahleyia University
3- Suzzan Omar Abakar-Khartoum University
4- Somyia Khamis –Khartoum University
These four students were accused of being active in opposing the evacuation order and they were working to organize the students to have one voice against the evacuation. They were also accused of being active on the attempts of commemorating the martyrs of the September 2013 uprising, in addition to having conducted several meetings with the martyr's families in Khartoum.
On 7 October ALZAHRA boarding house management ordered the female students (around 70) to evacuate the building, claiming that the building was being abused by the use of drugs and prostitution. Some of the students obeyed the order and vacated, while others refused; as a result 12 students were arrested by the security:
1- Rogaya Musa Algezoole-Khartoum University
2- Manal Mohamed Abdalla Abakar-Alnilein university
3- Salma Degais –Bahre University
4- Fadwa Ahmed –Khartoum University
5- Sadeya bakheet-Alazharee University
6- Alya hassoon-Omdurman Alahleyia University
7- Etezaz Mohamed Abdulkareem-Khartoum University
8- Rehab Mohamed Adam
9- Nahla Abdulrahman-Khartoum University
10- Mowahib Abakar-Alrebat University
11- Ranyia Hassan-Alnilein University
12- Hanan-Khartoum University
On 8 October, 2 students who came back to collect their luggage from the boarding house were also arrested:
1- Ekhlas bushara - Alnilein University
2- Neemat Ahmed Haroon-Omdurman Islamic University
They were all taken to the national security offices in Khartoum Bahre and three days later were transferred to Omdurman Women Prison.
On 11 of October, three girls from Khartoum University were released because they had exams on the next day:
1- Suzzan Omar
2- Fadwa Ahmed
And these students reported that they had been beaten and insulted, and that there are two students in bad health condition:
1- Arafa Mohamed Ibrahim
2- Salma Degais
They also reported that Hawa Suleiman Aldoma was subjected to severe torture, and she is kept in solitary since her arrest, and her screams are heard inside the prison.
On Saturday, 11 October, the 23 students who obeyed the evacuation order and had been hosted at ALBORHANIYA and ALI ABDULFATAH boarding houses were expelled from these houses and told that the hosting duration was only for three days. They were to find an accommodation for themselves. And those who were hosted by their colleagues in other boarding houses were also expelled.
SUDO UK condemns in the strongest words the arbitrary arrests and the use of force against the students and calls upon the Sudanese authorities to
• Immediately and unconditionally release all students as they have been detained solely as a result of their peaceful and legitimate human rights demands
• Investigate the incidents of the tortured students and bring the individuals or groups responsible for these acts to justice.
• Stop the policy of racial discrimination within the students and the community at large.
Grant poor students and those coming from conflict areas preference in accommodation.