member of the non-violent resistance movement in Sudan, “Girifna” (We Are Fed
Up), S.O. is considered a vital and effective activist, who was responsible for
the mobilization of many students during anti-government protests which broke
out in mid-June. Being a student at the University of Khartoum and an amateur
musician, S.O. had a wide network of connections and friends from the activist
When the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) launched a heavy-handed campaign arresting protesters from the streets and from their homes, S.O. was at the top of their hit list.
1st of July, a squad of around 20 NISS officers raided my house in Ab Roaf,
Omdurman while I was at the grocery shop, just a few steps from my house. I
managed to enter the house while they were arresting my brother W., whom they
had mistaken for me,” S.O. narrated. “They also arrested two of my uncles along
with him. They then came back looking for me but I had managed to escape
through climbing walls to my neighbors’ houses and finally getting into my
As S.O. and his friend fled the scene, they noticed a dozen police cars surrounding the neighbourhood. After a short pursuit by the NISS police, they were able to escape to somewhere safe.
next 52 days, NISS was still looking for S.O. He moved between 15 houses, 3 of
which were raided shortly after he left. He later on found out that he was
being tracked through his internet IP address. “I stopped accessing the
internet,” he said.
S.O.’s house was raided more than once, his personal belongings were confiscated, such as college textbooks, old travel tickets, souvenirs, birthday gifts and items that belonged to the “Girifna” movement.
pressured his father into revealing his whereabouts, warning that otherwise
they would also arrest his younger brother M., who was preparing for his final
exams at the university. NISS added that they would not release his brother W.
unless S.O. turns himself in. “My brother W. does not engage in any political
activity. The NISS officers told my father that I am the president of Girifna
and that I am the ringleader of all the protests. My father challenged them by
saying that he will not turn me in and that they could arrest whomever they
want from our family,” remarked S.O.
Both the activist’s uncles were released within 2 days, however his brother W. remaining in custody for 45 days as a hostage to the state. “They only released him after they had given up all hope that I would turn myself in,” he commented.
my friends were arrested and coerced into providing information about my
whereabouts, and many who visited my home while I was in hiding got arrested as
“I made various attempts to leave Sudan temporarily until things calm down, but I learned from an undisclosed source that my name was blacklisted at the airport. I had to resort to really odd means to flee the country.
“I am now
out of the country, but my family tells me that our house is still being
monitored and the NISS is still pursuing me. They even visit my parents posing
as friends of mine, but fortunately my parents are familiar with all my
friends. Some of my friends have been receiving threatening phone calls from
NISS who are still inquiring about my whereabouts until this day.
I missed my third year final exams at the University of Khartoum. As of this moment, my future is still uncertain.”