Attack on Khartoum University Student Union and Students from Nuba Mountains

Sudan Organisation Against Torture
Press Release: 28 June 2004

On 27 June 2004, in the early hours of the morning, Khartoum University Student Union (KUSU) was attacked. The attack was carried out by sixty students armed with iron bars and homemade Molotov. All the attackers are members of the Student Branch of the National Congress Party (the ruling party). The students were allegedly aided by members of the security forces.

The attack followed a Nuba Mountains cultural exhibition held at KUSU, started on Tuesday 22 June 2004. The exhibition was organised by the Student Association of the Nuba Mountains at Khartoum University, an official society afflicted to KUSU. The exhibition reflects the traditional life style and customs of Nuba people including their traditional food and drinks , dances, clothing, and music. Among the exhibited items were traditional equipments used by the Nuba people for brewing a traditional alcoholic drink (marissa).

On Friday 25 June 2004, at the University's mosque during the Friday prayers, the Imam stated that the presence of equipments for brewing alcohol in the Union building is against Islam and in breach of the Sharia laws and he promise the punishment of those envolved

During the attacks, several students were hurt; four of them were critically injured. Their details are as follows:

1. Adel Abd Al Rahim Aowshi, 4th year Faculty of Education
2. Nasir El Din Musa, 5th year Faculty of Education
3. Muntsar Ayoub, 2nd year Administration
4. Abd Al Nasir Ali, 2nd year Economics

Two men from the 2nd year Mathematics department suffered light injuries. They are:

1. Waeil Taha (Member of SOAT's student network and KUSU Council of 40s)
2. Hashim Al Taib

Some of the attackers have been identified. They are:

1. Abd Allah Al Zubair Bashir Taha, 4th year Science
2. Wasil, 4th year Science
3. Al Niel Al Fadil, 2nd year Economics
4. Al Tahir Al Amin Abd Allah, 4th year Abd Allah
5. Anis Omer, Graduate of Omdurman University
6. Abd Al Ziaq, Graduateo of Al Jazzera Univeristy

Additionally, during the attack several offices were burnt, including the Administration office, Sports office and the Media office along with the appropriation of student union documents and meetings minutes.

The failure of the GOS to control its own organs and its affiliated members contradicts the declared government commitment to the Machakos Protocol (July 2002) and the subsequent 6 protocols based on this protocol including the Declaration signed on 6 June 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. SOAT would like to recall the GoS's position on the status of national Capital, "The National Capital shall be a symbol of national unity that reflects the diversity of Sudan. Its administration shall be representative. Khartoum shall be the capital of the Republic of the Sudan." In addition under article 2.5.2, "All human rights and fundamental freedoms as specified in the Machakos Protocol, and in the Agreement herein, including respect for all religions, beliefs, and customs shall be respected and enforced in the National Capital, as well as throughout the whole of Sudan".

SOAT urges the Government of Sudan to respect its obligations as party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which under Article 15 recognizes the "right of everyone: (a) To take part in cultural life". Furthermore Article 15(2) states that "The steps to be taken by the States Parties to the present Covenant to achieve the full realization of this right shall include those necessary for the conservation, the development and the diffusion of science and culture".

SOAT strongly urges the Government of Sudan to:

i) Order a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of these attacks, in order to identify those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
ii) To guarantee that adequate reparation is provided to the above mentioned students
iii) Guarantee respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of association throughout Sudan in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards and conform to Machakos Protocol and all the subsequent agreements.

SOAT is international human rights organisation established in the UK in 1993. If you have any questions about this or any other SOAT information, please contact:


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