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Sudan Security services intensify new tools of rape and sexual assault to punish women who express their political opinion

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Sudan Security services intensify new tools of rape and sexual assault to punish women who express their political opinion

March 1, 2011

Statement by No to Women Oppression Coalition

“I used to walk down the street and feel safe because I thought Sudanese were good people but now I’m terrified every time I see the police, terrified to leave the house,” she said.

The Sudanese regime is continuing to declare war against the people of Sudan, particularly against the women by intensifying their use of rape and sexual assault to punish women who express dissent. In their war to silence the voices of women and girls of Sudan who speak out against injustice and discriminatory laws, including the notorious Sudan public order regime, the Sudanese government, together with its intelligence and security apparatus appear to have commenced a new technique of kidnapping women activists from their homes and gang raping them.

Over the past two weeks Safia Ishag, a Sudanese graduate activist was kidnapped and subjected to multiple rape by three National security and Intelligence Service of Sudan( NISS ) officers at the NISS office at the Shandy building in Northern Khartoum after which she was released and dumped in Northern Kharotum. Safia Ishag is a young 24 years old woman and a Fine Art Graduate. At the time of the kidnap, she was buying art colors and papers form a stationary shop on Gamohoria Street in central Khartoum.

She is currently undergoing treatment for the injuries incurred at a safe unknown location and the medical report proved the occurrence of the rape. The sexual assault and gang raping of women is increasing in NISS detention: most women up to now have however been too fearful to speak out.

Rape and sexual assault is not a new tool used by the Sudanese government, although this is a new twist in their brutal imagination. Thousands of women from Darfur were raped and are still undergoing the brutality of rape and sexual assault while the world is watching calmly. Earlier tens of thousands of Southern Sudanese women were raped in the South and during the military campaign and in displacement in the North. Sudanese men too have been raped and sexually assaulted in detention.

We Sudanese women will not be silenced and will pursue these cases nationally and before the international mechanisms. Although rape is not defined as a crime in Sudanese law in line with Sudanese constitutional obligations (acts of sexual assaults are dealt with within the framework of the Sharia prohibitions on zina), we are determined that these rapists will be brought before courts to justice.

We call on all the people of Sudan to stand up against the criminals and rapists and help break the fear and helplessness which women up to now have suffered.
Furthermore, we call on the International, South Sudanese and African actors who are eager to smooth the path to the hard fought for and longed for liberation of South Sudan which should not sacrifice the Northern and Southern women who reside in North Sudan. A transformation of the treatment of women,
in law and practice, must be an essential element of any of the transitional justice arrangements. This is our right as citizens of Sudan and as African women espousing the values and principles enshrined in the African Union and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Long live the struggle of The Women of Sudan

The No to Women Oppression Coalition includes hundreds of women from all walks of life from all parts of Sudan campaigning and working towards abolishing repressive and discriminatory acts and practices against women in the Sudanese law.

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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