Thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in Sudan, demanding president Omar al-Bashir steps down. Women activists are playing a central role in the protests, calling for freedom and the defense of human rights.
The uprising began September 23rd, in reaction to the government’s decision to lift food subsidies. This caused a huge rise in food and fuel prices, in a country where nearly half the population lives in poverty.
The government has responded to the protests by implementing a media blackout and ordering mass arrests and violent retaliation. Over 200 people have been killed and 700 arrested so far, according to Amnesty International. President Al-Bashir has a long history of ruling with violence. He is wanted by the International Criminal Court for charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Despite the violent crackdown, women continue to hold their ground. Women organized peaceful demonstrations last week, demanding the release of jailed female activists. A few days later, president al-Bashir ordered that all women prisoners be freed.
“Amnesty International says more than 200 killed in Sudan protests”, Sudan Tribune, 4 October 2013
“Sudan frees six female activists at the order of president Bashir”, Sudan Tribune, 7 October 2013
“Sudan’s protests pick up pace”, Al-Ahram Weekly, 9 October 2013
“Sudan protesters call for president Omar al-Bashir to step down”, The Guardian, 30 September 2013
“Profile: Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir”, BBC News, 5 December 2011
“UN: Demand al-Bashir’s surrender to the International Criminal Court”, Amnesty International, 20 September 2013