Home | Reports    Saturday 19 January 2013

Repression still stalks Sudanese activists who sought safety in Egypt


Amnesty International

18 January 2013

Faced with persecution and an increasingly dangerous climate in Sudan in recent years, a number of Sudanese activists have fled to the Egyptian capital Cairo, hoping to continue their work in safety from abroad.

JPEG - 43.3 kb
The Sudanese activists had fled to Cairo in recent years in an attempt to carry on their work in safety. © gr33ndata

But harassment and attacks have followed them across the border, and Amnesty International has documented a series of cases of Sudanese activists living in Cairo who have faced death threats, surveillance by unidentified men, break-ins and physical assaults – including a rape and an attempted stabbing.

A group of activists – who spoke with the organization on the condition of anonymity – claimed that Sudanese Embassy and National Security Services (NSS) agents in Cairo are behind such activities, aimed at intimidating them.

“This string of reported attacks on Sudanese activists in Egypt is deeply worrying,” said Audrey Gaughran, Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“It appears the Sudanese authorities have widened their web of repression, with activists who fled abroad increasingly the target of threats and attacks.”

Crackdown in Sudan

Amnesty International has previously documented how routine pressure and harassment from the authorities has made working on development, human rights and peace increasingly difficult in Sudan.

Human rights defenders and activists –are often targeted and subjected to arbitrary arrests and detention, sexual harassment, torture and other ill-treatment.

For some, the only way they can continue their human rights and humanitarian work is by leaving the country altogether.

But many of those carrying on their activism from Egypt are now living in fear amid the ongoing harassment, including death threats.

Stabbing attempt

Among those recently targeted was a female activist who was previously tortured while in NSS custody in Khartoum.

She now lives in Egypt and told Amnesty International that, in late 2012, she was attacked and received several threatening phone calls and messages.

Facebook messages threatened she would be killed if she continued to spread “lies” about her detention and torture in Sudan. The activist also told Amnesty International that a man who made threatening phone calls twice identified himself as an officer at Cairo’s Sudanese Embassy.

In December, she filed a police report after a man attempted to stab her on a street in Cairo. Although she managed to escape serious injury, the police have not yet informed her of any progress in investigating the attack. She believes the attack to be connected with her activism.

Physical assault

In another case, a prominent activist who has been in Cairo since 2004, told Amnesty International that he has been attacked and severely beaten twice since coming to Cairo – in 2005 and 2011.

Based on his attackers’ accent and appearance, he believes they were Sudanese.

After the first attack, Cairo police were reportedly reluctant to let him file a complaint, saying it was “a fight between Sudanese people”, and he had difficulty getting medical treatment for his injuries because his identification had been stolen in the attack. The eventual police report mentioned the lost identification but not the attack itself.

He continues to receive threatening phone calls every month from people who reportedly identify themselves as Sudanese officials who threaten to kill him if he does not stop his activism and “collaborating” with international organizations.

Attempted kidnapping

In early December 2012, two men reportedly approached a group of three activists in a Cairo street and attempted to kidnap one of them. They failed to force him into their car, but instead beat him and stole his mobile phone before fleeing.

The activist told Amnesty International that he was again attacked later that month by a group of four men who beat and threatened him, telling him that he should stop disseminating information on the conflict and the humanitarian situation in the Nuba Mountains. He received hospital treatment after this attack, and is suffering from internal injuries and a broken finger.

Based on their accents, he believes three of his attackers were Sudanese.

Three days after the second attack, a man who identified himself as a Sudanese Embassy official reportedly rang him to say the attack had been a warning, and that he would be killed if he keeps up his activism.

Sexual violence

A female activist, who had been working on Darfur human rights issues, described to Amnesty International how she was kidnapped on a Cairo street by three men dressed in plain clothes. After forcing her into a car, the men – who she believes were Egyptian – took her to a remote location and raped her repeatedly before leaving her on a Cairo road.

The woman told Amnesty International that a few days after her rape she received a menacing phone call from a Sudanese security agent who had previously arrested her in Sudan.

He allegedly threatened her family members with further attacks.

Out of fear of reprisals, she did not report the attack to the Egyptian police.

“If Sudanese security operatives are behind these attacks, this raises serious questions about whether the Egyptian security forces are aware of such operations on their territory,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

“The Egyptian authorities must urgently investigate the situation, and ensure that Sudanese operatives are not carrying out operations within Egypt that threaten human rights.”


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 3 July 2013 08:27, by asicsning

    This is my interpretation. Ci Hai explanation is: bubble economy: excessive growth of fictitious capital transactions with related ongoing expansion growing out of physical capital growth and the growth of real sector,http://www.hlbbt.com/

    repondre message

Comment on this article


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

President Festus G. Mogae rekindles peace hopeful dividends for South Sudan 2015-11-28 07:33:06 By James Okuk Friday 27th November 2015 had marked a very important step forward on the path of peace in the Republic of South Sudan despite lagging behind the schedules in the last wasted three (...)

The Sudanese rebels’ national agenda is causing local harm 2015-11-26 07:46:17 By Hafiz Ismail Mohamed Sudan people's Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N)'s insistence on negotiating with the government about national issues only – rather than giving priority to South (...)

Tribal politics is what destroying our social fabric 2015-11-25 06:08:13 By Malek Cook-Dwach, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.”? Albert Einstein In the paradox of (...)


Latest Press Releases

Deadly Public Order raid in Umm Dawm 2015-11-11 13:26:10 The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA)Deadly Public Order Raid in Umm Dawm On the 14th of October, the Public Order Police (POP) carried out a sweep in Umm Dawm, an area (...)

S. Sudan civil society groups to the 28 states issue to constitutional body 2015-10-08 17:26:10 South Sudan Civil Society Organizations Submission on the Creation of 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan Press Statement For immediate Release 8th October 2015 Following the announcement (...)

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.