Friday, June 22, 2012

Sudan Protests VI - Sandstorm Friday

This post will be continuously updated during the day.

The sixth day of protests got the name Sandstorm Friday (#SandstormFriday) and people are being urged by activists to hit the streets after prayers. There are reports of heavy security presence around mosques in Khartoum, Omdurman and Khartoum North and only time and a good amount of nervous teeth grinding from where I sit, will tell how this day will end. This picture is from outside Wad Noubawi's Mosque in Omdurman after prayers:

Police told the protesters at Wad Noubawi's Mosque that they would refrain from beating, then used batons and fired tear gas. Police are reportedly surrounding the area and NISS are combing the streets to pick people up. "It's an ambush" a tweet says. Meanwhile, the protests are spreading, mainly in Omdurman (at 2 PM) it seems.

Youth movement "Sudan Change Now" urges international media to cover the protests and shares this:

Around lunch there were unconfirmed reports of police firing live ammunition at protesters in Sennar, a town in South-East Sudan.

Update: One person was hit in the leg with a bullet and was taken by a civilian to a hospital in Omdurman. Protests also broke out in Wad Madani in the afternoon.

During the afternoon the protests have continued without pause, just like the mass arrests, police brutality and injuries. In al-Amlak (Bahri/Khartoum North) the situation has been intense and there have been unconfirmed talks about deaths. In Wad Nubawi (Omdurman) the police dispersed the protesters, who later came back with renewed force: heavy clashes, arrests and injuries. In Khartoum 3 the situation has been dramatic where no one is supposedly able to get either in or out and with burned car tires all over the place. In al-Daim a police station was burned down.

This video is from Mohamed Naguib this evening.

There are reports of live ammunition and mass arrests as well as police using tear gas that causes instant unconsciousness. I will try to get this confirmed.

Among the Friday arrests are: @M_Izzelden (a girifna member and Sudanese tweep) together with Amira and Amani Osman. Photographer Mohammed Altoum and NUP activist Erwa Sadiq. In addition @simsimt @Arch_Asaad and @ZiyadMoutasim seem to be missing as they last tweeted some 6 hours ago (it's now 11 PM, GMT +2 here in Sweden).

Last update for today: 
@Arch_Asaad, @ZiyadMoutasim and @M_Izzelden was released in late evening. @simsimt is still missing. @Arch_Asaad said: "I was held at Buri Daraysa police station, all Buri detainees r supposed 2b there but Usamah (simsimt) was never brought #SudanRevolts."

@simsimt is seen as an important part of #SudanRevolts and Twitter is running warm with concern for his safety. @OmarMahgoub is also missing.

More here:
- Aljazeera,  Student-led #SudanRevolts enter sixth day
- Sudan Tribune, URGENT CALL to Media and Activists
- AFP, Sudan food protests widen
- The Guardian, Sudan's ageing regime has few answers to the latest wave of protests
- Voice of America, Student-Led Protests Spread Across Khartoum
- Chicago Tribune, Sudan austerity protests spreaed after Friday prayers
- Reuters Africa, Hundreds of Sudanese join austerity protests after prayers

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