Originally published on September 16, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Omar al-Bashir, President of Sudan
Goal: Investigate the murders and mistreatment of protestors by police
Burdened with a deteriorating economy and rising inflation, the Sudanese people have taken to the streets to voice their discontent. In response, police and other security forces have repeatedly used excessive and unnecessarily lethal force to suppress the masses. Operating with impunity, security forces have detained, tortured, and killed people attempting to practice free speech. The government of Sudan must investigate these human rights violations and actively prosecute the officers responsible for these crimes.
In a recent report, Amnesty International documented four Sudanese protests that occurred between 2012 and 2014. During the 2013 protests, at least 185 people were killed as police fired live ammunition at them. Most of the casualties had been shot in the head or chest, but many had been shot in the back. One of the wounded protesters had been shot in the head at point blank range.
In 2012, ten children and two adults attending a demonstration were gunned down by law enforcement. The police repeatedly blocked access to hospitals and arrested anyone seeking medical treatment. Thrown into overcrowded jails, many protesters were denied food, water, and access to toilet facilities. Subjected to extreme temperatures, electrocution, beatings with a rubber hose, and threats of rape, numerous protesters received constant mistreatment and abuse.
By signing the petition below you will urge the President of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, to stop these unlawful killings and to punish the law enforcement officials responsible for murdering and torturing protesters.
Dear President Omar al-Bashir,
The violent response by your security forces to mostly peaceful demonstrations has resulted in the deaths and torture of hundreds of your people. During the 2012 protests, ten unarmed children were shot to death by law enforcement. What threat did those children pose to your government?
In 2013 alone, your police officers gunned down at least 185 people attending a demonstration. The police used live ammunition while aiming specifically for lethal shots. Many of the wounded were arrested and denied treatment. Others were arbitrarily detained and tortured for speaking their opinions.
Instead of attempting to silence your people and crush their spirits, your government could try to address their grievances and work with them towards a mutually beneficial goal. Overreaction by your security forces will only lead to further dissent and bloodshed. Investigate these human rights violations and provide justice to your people by making sure these crimes never happen again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jesse Awalt via Wikimedia Commons