February 22, 2019
We, the undersigned, condemn the recent human rights violations perpetrated by the government of Sudan against citizens exercising their democratic and inalienable right to peaceful protest.
Since December 2018, international human rights organization Human Rights Watch has reported the arrest and detention of dozens of peaceful protestors by the Sudanese security forces, such as human rights defender Rudwan Dawod. In December, eleven members of the Sudan Doctors’ Syndicate were detained without legal cause, while the government attacked hospitals and protesters with live ammunition and tear gas. While in detention by security forces, civilians are subjected to beatings, torture, and other forms of abuse. In January, Ahmed Elkhair, a school teacher from Khashm El Girba in Eastern Sudan, was tortured to death by the security forces. This has been recently confirmed by government prosecutors. Meanwhile, the Sudanese government continues its human rights abuses, such as using live ammunition against peaceful protestors, the use of excessive physical violence, as well as unlawfully raiding homes.
As Nubiologists, we devote our lives to the study of the past and present people and cultures of Egypt and the Sudan. Such a scholarly practice can never be allowed to fetishize its object of research at the cost of neglecting the social and political context that allows that research to take place. In the face of oppression and violence, which does not only affect those in Sudan who work with us, who study with us, who teach us, but also the entire society of which they are part, we cannot remain silent.
As Nubiologists and scholars who bear witness every day to both prosperity and conflict along the Nile, we stand in solidarity with those who exercise their democratic and inalienable right to peaceful protest and demand an immediate halt to the intolerable aggression of the Sudanese government, which so far has been grossly neglected by the international community.