“Chaos and Fire”: An Analysis of Sudan’s June 3, 2019 Khartoum Massacre

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Adrienne Fricke, JD, MA (Physicians for Human Rights)
Publication Date
March 11, 2020
Publication Type
Human Rights Investigations Lab, Open Source Investigations, Public Health


This report focuses on the significant human rights violations against civilians that occurred in Sudan on June 3, 2019 during a large-scale attack by government security forces on the site of a pro-democracy sit-in in central Khartoum. An interdisciplinary team conducted English and Arabic open-source investigation and extensive field-based interviews using established methods, including those informed by medical-legal assessments of injuries. While clear patterns and key events can be established based on the data collected, the data does not permit a forensic reconstruction of the June 3 attacks. Rather, this report demonstrates the need for further in-depth investigations within Sudan by the Sudanese legal and human rights communities, or international bodies such as the United Nations or the African Union.


Contemporaneous with PHR’s field investigation, students and staff at the Human Rights Center’s Investigations Lab conducted an open source investigation of social media posts from Sudan at the time of the protests. Using a multi-source verification process, Lab researchers verified instances of human rights violations in Sudan in June and July 2019. The Lab found significant open-source evidence that the Rapid Support Forces conducted attacks on two private hospitals on June 3, which corroborated information about these attacks provided in interviews.


*This report was not authored by the Human Rights Center. The Investigations Lab made significant substantive contributions described above.