From the blog: Reflections of a Cupcake Activist
October 21st, 2013
I am on hunger strike today.
Many skeptics ask: “what will being on hunger strike outside of Sudan do for people in Sudan?”
We all know that the oppressive autocratic government of Sudan does not care if the entire population goes on hunger strike. The President was recently reported to have said that they don’t mind killing two thirds of the population to rule one third, in praise of murderers of protestors during the recent September protests following lifting of fuel subsidies in Sudan. However, the government of Sudan responds to pressure. In fact international pressures dictate a lot more of the government’s actions than most people think. The International Criminal Court indictment of President Bashir continues to dictate his every decision even though he pretends not to care. I’m striking in solidarity with all those who are on hunger strike and all those who can’t afford to eat because of our malfunctioned government. I’m striking to help make the noise they can’t stand; the sound of any form of freedom being exercised and the sound of justice.
Demands of the hunger strike are as follows:
- Release of all political detainees;
- Bringing those responsible for the killing of protesters to justice and allowing people to demonstrate without fear of detention or use of force;
- Freedom of expression and allowing journalists to resume their role and lift the bans on newspapers.
Political detainees were arrested either during peaceful protests or were taken from their homes. They are being held without charges, with no right for a lawyer and without their families being informed about their whereabouts. A friend of mine who recently came out of detention confirmed the use of torture.
Over 200 protests have been killed by national security during the recent protests in September. Over 90% of those killed were either directly shot in the head and/or chest areas indicating targeted shooting. As a participant in the protests I can confirm the use of brutal violence (heavy tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition) and the presence of snipers. Protestors were violently attacked without warning regardless of whether they were having a silent sit-in or chanting “down with the regime”. Please checkwww.sudanmartyrs.wordpress.com for stories and ages of murdered protestors who were as young as 15.
Over 4 newspapers and Alarabiya news channel were shut down during the two weeks following the protests. Internet and social media were often distorted with frequent black outs.
But the truth is it’s a lot more than just that.
I’m on hunger strike for the 24 years of oppression. 200 people were killed in 2 weeks only. One can only imagine what the total for the past 24 years could be given the numerous unaccounted deaths.
The October revolution in 1964 was triggered by the killing of ONE student. This was one human life had value. This government succeeded in bringing the value of human life to nil. We hear numbers on the news and they’re no longer people with lives, hopes and dreams, families and friends anymore. They’re numbers that no one has any power to do anything about. But we do have power. We are not going to remain helpless. We have power in our voices and our numbers. Spreading knowledge and information about atrocities of the brutal government in Sudan will give us strength and eventually bring justice to everyone that was killed, tortured, oppressed and made to starve.
I’m going on this hunger strike in an effort to make the voice of Sudan heard.
The government of Sudan is one of the best at oppressing freedom of expression. Newspapers are shut down. Journalists are often harassed, arrested, interrogated and kicked out when they insinuate anything negative about the government. Sudan itself is very dry, hot and desolate. Everything happens behind closed doors; stories of torture, killings and arbitrary arrests never see the light. We only know about them through our friends and families; the son of this family or the sister of this person was arrested and tortured. Everyone knows someone that was arrested/tortured/killed by the regime at one point of their lives and who did not get justice. That’s how the government of Sudan instills fear. Victims never get the media attention they deserve. Many times they don’t even bother because they know they will not get justice in Sudan and many flee Sudan and seek asylum abroad. There stories are almost always only captured by activists and posted online for a very limited audience (that’s if they are ever captured).
It’s time that the word gets out and stories of the struggle of Sudanese people are made public. I truly hope that this hunger strike attracts the attention of Human Rights groups, International Media and governments to create the pressure needed on the Government of Sudan to achieve the strike’s short-term goals until we are able to overthrow the regime inshallah.
Please do your part and speak up against injustice. Speak to your family and friends. Share articles and information on social media networks.
You can sign the petition against Human Rights Violations in Sudan:https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_Human_Rights_Violations_in_Sudan
Watch this video by some activists in the Diaspora who are trying to make a difference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=share&safe=active&v=sgPMZTxUThw&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DsgPMZTxUThw%26feature%3Dshare%26safe%3Dactive&app=desktop
And remember that “الساكت عن الحق شيطان أخرس”- “Silence in the face of injustice is complicity with the oppressor”