Intimidation and Persecution: Sudan’s Attacks on Peaceful Protesters and Physicians

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Rohini Haar, MD, MPH
Publication Date
April 1, 2019
Publication Type
Conflict, Human Rights Investigations Lab, Public Health


This report addresses Sudan’s use of unnecessary and disproportionate force that endangers the health of peaceful protesters and the targeted attacks on health personnel who play an essential role in civil society. Since Sudanese protesters took to the streets in December 2018 to demonstrate against government corruption, economic mismanagement, and brutal repression, forces loyal to the government of President Omar al-Bashir have carried out massive violations of human rights. Peaceful protesters have been attacked by government security forces using disproportionate, unnecessary, and sometimes lethal force. They have been arrested and detained without charges and denied access to their families or medical care. Government security forces and police have prevented medical personnel from attending to the wounded and, in many cases, have arrested and detained these personnel, conducted incursions and attacks inside medical facilities, and targeted, injured, and even killed health workers while they have been carrying out their medical duties or participating in the protest movement. By reviewing and confirming reliable on-the-ground reporting from contacts in Sudan and employing open-source investigation methodologies for verification, this report details these attacks. Based on the available information, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) finds that the government of Sudan has used unnecessary and disproportionate force against its citizens, illegally attacked medical responders and facilities, and tortured detainees. This campaign of intimidation and persecution violates both national and international laws and interferes with basic norms of medical ethics and care for the wounded and sick.


The Arabic version of this report can be found here.