December 8, 2023

42 days too long

Eight hours incommunicado in the custody of Sudan’s security agents was plenty enough to unsettle me earlier this year. And with a foreign passport I could be fairly assured that deportation was the worst outcome on offer. The 14 Darfuri journalists, lawyers and human rights activists arrested by the Sudanese security agency on Oct. 30 have now had 42 long days and nights incommunicado in the hands of those known for routinely torturing and even killing those in its custody with complete impunity.

The friends and families of the detainees feel helpless. The Sudanese government has refused to disclose the location where the detainees are being held, let alone let them call their families or gain access to a lawyer. Prominent Sudanese opposition members, including the SPLM’s Yasir Arman, have called on the government to release them or give them a fair trial. But their voices are not being amplified by the international community.

With all eyes on the southern referendum, is it too much to hope for that cables flowing from the  capitals of every human rights respecting country in the world are urging their representatives in Khartoum to raise the fate of these detainees in each and every meeting they have with Sudanese officials?


  1. Every day that goes by I think of the journalists, lawyers, and human rights activists that have been detained since October 30th. Back in June when the three activists and you were detained, I was very upset yet relieved when everyone was released. I cannot imagine how the friends, families, and detainees feel.

    I hope that fellow STAND activists are keeping these detainees in their hearts and minds while they are pushing for legislation and action for Sudan. I am glad to see this post and will remind friends and family. STAND has greatly succeeded in getting a Darfur diplomat appointed, but the safety of these detainees is still threatened everyday that passes.

    In solidarity,

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