Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Silenced Before you Speak

A few hours ago, I went to an event about political detainees in Sudan at the Sudanese Monitor for Human Rights, an independent venue where the National Consensus (the coalition that brings Sudanese opposition parties together) holds its event and press conferences.

The event was organized by the National Consensus and the speakers were Mr. Kamal Omer-a well-known lawyer and leading figure in the Popular Congress Party (PCP), Eng. Khalid Omer Yousif- a leading member in the Sudanese Party and blogger and Professor Mohamed Zain Al Abdeen, a politician and university professor released on Monday after being held by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) for ten days.

First, we were informed that Professor Al Abdeen could not make it because the Press and Publications security called him and asked him to come for a meeting at 12 p.m. I believe the NISS was mainly trying to sabotage the event by making sure that one of the speakers, a valuable speaker, can not make it to the event.

I arrived early and I was sitting opposite a man wearing a safari suit. I have this theory that most young men wearing safari suits work for the NISS. He was wearing a blue safari suit and he looked out of place. Turns out.....naturally, he does work for the NISS.

He asked one of the organizers about the "main organizers" of this forum , then, he left when he was not given a definite answer. Another NISS officer came back a few minutes later and asked Mr. Kamal Omar, the lawyer and well-known opposition figure to step outside.

We all jokingly told Mr.Omar " you will get arrested,"

Mr. Omar came back and said, we can't have this forum here.

I was very disappointed and angry, we didn't even start the forum and they are canceling it!

We decided that we have to find a way to hold this event and headed to the Sudanese Communist Party as its a few minutes away from the Monitor.

We ended up having the event at the Communist Party headquarters.

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