CPI Demands the Release of Detained Communist and Opposition Leaders in Sudan

The Communist Party of Israel (CPI) has issued a statement demanding the release of the Communist and opposition leaders detained by the Sudanese government. On Thursday of last week, February 21, security forces of the dictatorial regime in Sudan arrested 25 opposition leaders and activists as they prepared to join a protest march to the presidential palace in Khartoum to call for the dictator Omar al-Bashir to step down. Among the detainees is Mohamed Mokhtar al-Khatib, the Secretary of the Sudanese Communist Party.

Crowds demonstrating against the Sudanese dictatorship, last week in Khartoum

Crowds demonstrating against the Sudanese dictatorship, last week in Khartoum (Photo: Al-Midan)

The peaceful protesters were brutally attacked by security forces who used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. Opposition leaders and other public figures were arrested near the Farooq Mosque, including representatives of several political parties and the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA). While six of them were later released, mainly from the Umma Party, the remaining detainees, including al-Khatib, are still in detention.

Hundreds of protesters and activists, most of them from earlier rounds of arrests during recent weeks, are still languishing in the prisons and detention centers of the regime under harsh and inhumane conditions. They include 15 members of the Central Committee of the Sudanese Communist Party and dozens of its cadres and members.

The mass protest movement against the dictatorial regime, which started three months ago, December 19, has escalated in recent weeks and spread to all major cities and towns throughout the country.

The dictator al-Bashir declared a nationwide state of emergency on Friday and dissolved the government, in an effort to quell weeks of demonstrations that have rocked his three-decade-long iron-fisted rule. “I declare the imposition of a state of emergency across the country for one year,” Bashir said in a televised address to the nation.

However, organizers of anti-government protests, among them Communists, vowed to press on with their demonstrations until Bashir steps down. “We are calling on our people to continue with demonstrations until the main aim of this uprising, the stepping down of the head of the regime, is achieved,” said the SPA, which is spearheading the campaign.

Officials say 31 people have died in the protest-related violence, while human rights organizations says at least 60 people have been killed including medics and children.

The country’s feared National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) have launched a sweeping crackdown to put down the protests, jailing hundreds of protesters, opposition leaders, activists and journalists. Al-Bashir, 75, was swept into power in an Islamist-backed coup in 1989 that overthrew the elected government of then premier Sadiq al-Mahdi.