Wave of arrests of Darfur students in Khartoum and Atbara
The Sudanese national security services have started arresting scores of students from Darfur enrolled in various universities in Khartoum and Atbara, in the northeast of the country.
At least seven students were detained in Khartoum on Sunday, 23 December, and five students were detained in Atbara on Tuesday, the Darfur Bar Association stated in a press release published by Radio Dabanga.
The students were taken to the offices of the security forces where they were interrogated. During the questioning they were reportedly beaten and some of them were severely tortured, the Darfur lawyers explained.
One student, Abdelsalaam Nurein, sustained severe physical and psychological traumas after hours of continuous torture. The Darfur Bar Association says the nationwide hunt for Darfur students is undermining the unity of Sudan, since it is focused on a certain ethnicity.
According to the lawyers, the national security and police forces did not follow required legal procedures, which involves allowing counseling and providing proper arrest charges. They suggested authorities arrested the students under the pretext they were ‘undermining the state’s peace’.
The Darfur Bar Association released the names of all the known students who were arrested and tortured.
These names include Abdelsalam Nurein (Nilein University, law college), Azubeir Hussein Zakaria (Holy Q’uran University), Musamil Hassan Bukhari Nasr (Bahri University, engineering faculty), Mukhtar Ali Osman Abbas (Bahri University, engineering faculty), Abdallah Eshaq (Omdurman University) and Abdelhafif Hassan Adam (Bahri University, education faculty).
In the northern city of Atbara, government security agents arrested five students of the Nile Valley University enrolled at the faculty of agriculture on Tuesday.
They were allegedly participating in a demonstration against the university administration that should allow Darfuri students to take part in the exams without paying high fees. The undergraduates were denied registering at the university if they did not pay their fees.
The protesters faced violent opposition from the students supporting the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
In the Abuja peace agreement of 2008 the central government of Sudan agreed that Darfuri students would be exempted from paying tuition fees due to the economic marginalization of that region.
The names of the five arrested students are Ali Abdel Hussein, Abdu Samia Mohamed Ahmed, Armani Mohamed Ahmed and two female students known by their first name Sara and Armani.
They were arrested at the junction of Atabara/Berbera Street, the lawyers explained.