On June 16th, 2022, three women journalists were subjected to arrests, prosecution and intimidations. Two young women protesters were arrested, threatened and sexually assaulted on the same day.
Woman journalist Hanady Osman was arrested from her car by a police force from the criminal investigative department in Khartoum on June 16th, 2022. The officers arrested her and took her to several police stations and federal investigative departments in Khartoum. She was questioned on providing financial support to the protesters. Hanady was released after more than 12 hours of investigation on condition of signing a self declaration to not join any protests.
Zamzam Khatir, a woman journalist from North Darfur state, was publicly threatened by the state police chief in a press conference with the Governor of North Darfur on June 16th, 2022. The police chief threatened Zamzam with taking legal action against her for publishing a story about police officers arrested after being involved in looting incidents.
Shirin Abubakr, a woman journalist was summoned on June 16th, 2022 by prosecutors in Khartoum. Three prosecutors investigated Shirin and put her under immense pressure to reveal her sources. The prosecutors questioned her about a story on prosecutors planning to organize a general strike. She was threatened to reveal her sources within the prosecutor offices.
During the June 16th, 2022 protests, at least two young women protesters between19 to 22 years old were arrested and sexually assaulted by police officers. One of the young women was brought to the police station with shredded cloth and several injuries according to lawyers. “She was shaking all over her body, it was clear that she was beaten and dragged on the ground,” said a lawyer.
Since the military coup on October 25th, 2021, Sudanese women human rights defenders, women protesters and journalists are facing mounting threats to their lives. These attacks on women’s journalists are part of the crackdown on freedom of expression and journalism in Sudan by the coup authorities. Dozens of women journalists are working under increasingly dangerous and restrictive conditions. Women protesters and WHRDs are risking their lives every day in Sudan to defend democracy and human rights. Sexual violence is being used as a weapon by the coup forces to intimidate and silence Sudanese women protesters and WHRDs. International actors must take firm actions to protect freedom of expression and freedom of assembly for Sudanese women, and end all forms of sexual violence against women protesters.
The undersigned organizations call on
- Sudan to end crackdown on women journalists and women freedom of expression and opinion.
- Sudan to end sexual violence on Sudanese Women Protesters and WHRDs and Investigate the reported cases.
- OHCHR and all mandate holders at the office to take urgent action to condemn these crimes against women journalists and women protesters ,call for international investigations and accountability and urge Sudan to put an end of the systematic violence against women and peaceful protesters by the Sudanese government
- International Service for Human Rights
- Sudanese Women Rights Action
- Regional Coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders in MENA
- Nora Center for Combating Sexual Violence