By Sidahmed Tfeil & Madeleine Bair
Sixty-one-year-old Salah Dawoud did not actively take part in the wave of protests that swept across Sudan in late September. But, as he explains in this video testimony, he is a victim of the Sudanese government’s excess use of force. His city of Omdurman was a flashpoint of protests that began when the government announced the lifting of fuel subsidies, but grew to encompass a number of political grievances of the population. On the afternoon of September 25, Dawoud stepped out of his home and heard gunfire. When he looked up the road, a police officer was shooting live ammunition at unarmed protesters. He first fired at a young man, then at Dawoud, hitting him in the knee. Dawoud, who has advocated for the rights of people with disabilities since losing his right arm in a car accident decades ago, had to undergo a leg amputation.
In the video, Dawoud expresses his anger at the government of Omar al-Bashir for targeting peaceful protesters. He tells the group of young activists who came to his home for the interview that he holds Bashir responsible for his injury, stating “if the protests happen again, I will be the first person to join them in a wheelchair.”
Human rights violations
Protesters and international human rights organizations reported grave human rights abuses by authorities cracking down on the Sudan Revolts movement, which lasted from September 22 – early October this year. Live ammunition, mass arrests, and an internet blackout were a few of the means of repression. Amnesty International, quoting the Sudanese Doctors’ Union, stated that more than 210 people were killed in Khartoum alone. Rights groups have called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to investigate alleged deaths, injuries, and detentions of protesters.
For more videos of the 2013 Sudan protest movement, this video playlist on the Human Rights Channel consists of citizen videos taken by demonstrators, including raw footage documenting violent clashes with authorities.