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Protestors Freed In Sudan

In this citizen journalism image, tires burn during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan.
In this citizen journalism image, tires burn during a protest in Khartoum, Sudan.
Government austerity measures in Sudan aimed at addressing a growing economic crisis sent hundreds of protestors upset with rising prices, curtailed fuel subsidies and other problems into the streets of the capital Khartoum this summer.

Dissent is frowned upon in the east African nation, and hundreds of the protestors were arrested, some charged with attempting to overthrow the government. On August 15, following requests from civil society and the international community and with the Eid al Fitr holiday approaching, Sudanese authorities announced they were releasing all persons detained in the protest crackdown.

The United States welcomes the announcement and urges the Government of Sudan to respect its citizens’ rights, including freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. We hope that this can be the first step in a necessary process of dialogue and reconciliation between Sudanese leaders and advocates for peaceful, democratic reform.

One of those detained in the protests was a permanent legal resident of our country, Rudwan Dawod. His case attracted much attention in the United States. A Sudanese court found him not guilty of the most serious charge against him and ordered his release.

The judge’s decision to order his release was rooted in Sudanese criminal law, and we welcome Dawod’s release and appreciate the government’s decision to follow the rule of law and comply with the judge’s decision.