"Elbow Licking Friday" brutal arrests in Sudan

The Arab Program for Human Rights Activists condemned in a press release acts of the Sudanese authorities against demonstrations that took place in many parts of Sudan on Friday June 29. The organisation alleges security forces launched an arrest campaign against activists and media representatives, with many being detained in unknown locations.

The Sudanese government has derided protests calling for its ouster as "elbow licking" , in other words, an impossible act. So protesters in Khartoum dubbed 29 June "Elbow Licking Friday". Protesters have staged nearly two weeks of demonstrations in Sudan.

For years, the northern government maintained so-called subsidies for basic commodities, like oil, and fuel and sugar. Most Sudanese already believed that corrupt officials have been pocketing profits for years. Then, on June 16th, the government announced it was lifting the subsidies, automatically increasing the prices.

At the same time the subsidies were lifted, the new annual budget was announced: 70% was allocated to military and security forces while 5% to education and healthcare. The rallies have become a push against President Omar Bashir, the repressive leader who has held power since a 1989 coup. The activist group Girifna (which means we are fed up), has demanded the resignation of the government, releasing political prisoners and ending "the ethnic monopoly over power."

The Sudanese security forces faced the demonstrations using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, resulting in hundreds of injured protesters. It is further alleged the security forces prevented the injured from accessing Omdurman Hospital to get medical treatment and threw tear gas inside the courtyard of the Bahari hospital, while in Al-Kadaref Hospital, they arrested patients during their treatment.

Emirates 24/7 reports that the clashes resulted in at least 64 arrests and left many wounded, with at least one death on 1 July of a student beaten by security forces during the protests. "Mohammed Abdulrahman, from Ahlia University, died last night in Omdurman hospital as a result of his ... wounds after he was beaten by police," an activist who took part in Sunday's protest told AFP.

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