Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Story of Sawsan

At the height of the conflict in Higleig, the NISS summoned Sawsan Atora, a mother who was previously affiliated with the SPLM.

Atora went to the questioning and was told that she needs to leave to the South. Although she hails from South Sudan, Atora is married to a North Sudanese and resides in Khartoum.

Atora was given a week to leave "Sudan".

Even before the week was up, she was arrested by NISS and transferred to the Omdurman Women's Prison.

She had no idea where she was. A mother of six children, she spent her days worrying about her children. One of them left school to get a job as she was the main bread-winner. 

When the rainy season came, Atora worried that their roof would not survive the rain and it would collapse on her children.

She was kept at the prison since April until NISS forgot about her, in fact Atora became an unknown detainee. No one wrote or tweeted about her during her detention, in fact I only found out about her after they began releasing some detainees. 

Atora became lucky when the cells became full and she had to share the cell with a few other detainees.

A detainee released a few days ago said that when she was called for interrogation, Atora told her that she would like to meet an officer.

For over 3 months, not a single officer came to her cell, she has not faced a single interrogation.

When the former detainee told the officer that Atora wants to see him. He said "she is still here?"

She was forgotten even by NISS.

Atora was released a few days ago with eye problems. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Random Arrests

So I have not written a blogpost in a very long time. In fact, I've not written anything in a long time. This is long over-due, but at least I am writing it now!

Since Sudan began revolting in mid-June, hundreds have been detained. Many remain in detention , mostly men since most female detainees were released in the last few days. Since its easier to highlight the arrest of politicians or activists, many names were left off lists of detainees, in particular, the random people arrested.

The random people arrested were arrested just because they were at the wrong place at the wrong time. Let me give you a few examples.

-A good friend of mine was getting arrested by two NISS officers when the owner of the grocery shop he happened to be  standing in front interfered. The kind man told them that this young man was doing nothing wrong and why are they arresting him anyways? He was arrested with my friend and released a few hours ago. At the same time, some kids playing football were curiously observing the arrest only to get arrested along with the guy.

One man arrested randomly , an electrician who was fixing something at the house of one of the detainees when the NISS raided her house, was given a hard time. He kept telling the NISS that he was an electrician to no avail, they kept telling him that he "thinks he is smart for being in disguise" and accusing him of "pretending to be someone he is not". The poor electrician fainted in detention from all the stress after saying that he has not eaten anything the whole day. 

-When Mawahib Majzoub and her husband were arrested after NISS raided their house, they happened to have guests at the time. Yes, the guests who do not even live in Khartoum were arrested with them and released the next day. 

-When Girifna activist, Rudwan Dawood, was arrested in early July, his brother and father were arrested along with him. His brother's mental condition exacerbated due to the detention conditions and torture, this did not stop NISS from including him and the father, Yacoub Dawood, in the court case against the activist.

-For the NISS, Seraj Omar represents a challenge. Tall, skinny, smart and equipped with excellent security skills ( as a result of being affiliated with the communist party), Seraj has vanished into thin air. The NISS raided his house a few weeks ago, he managed to escape, but this didn't stop them from arresting his brother and two uncles. The uncles were released, but his brother, a  non-politically activist youth remains in detention to pressure Seraj to hand himself in.

There are many other cases of haphazard arrests, I just wanted to highlight a few. Freedom to all detainees and freedom to Sudan from the NCP rule