GUE/NGL MEPs have strongly condemned the use of force and arbitrary arrests of peaceful demonstrators in Sudan in recent weeks – including the detention of the 2007 Sakharov Prize winner, Salih Mahmoud Osman.

Since January, protests have been taking place across the country against the price hikes on basic commodities. Journalists and critics of the Omar al-Bashir regime are also amongst those who have been detained and threatened.

A mission by GUE/NGL MEPs to Sudan in December 2016 met with Osman, who is also a member of the Sudanese communist party and Vice President of the Darfur Bar Association. Travelling on that delegation was French MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat and she said:

“Sudanese authorities have once again reacted with brutality against the peaceful demonstrations. Opposition politicians, journalists and human rights defenders are always the first to be targeted, and amongst them is the 2007 Sakharov Prize lauréat, Salih Mahmoud Osman, whom I’ve had the honour of meeting many times.”

“I call on the European institutions to exert pressure on the al-Bashir regime and to demand the release of the detainees immediately,” she added.

Portuguese MEP João Pimenta Lopes echoed those sentiments:

“We express our full solidarity with the dozens of communists and political activists who have been arrested since the beginning of the year. We also extend our solidarity with the people of Sudan who have been suffering under this repressive regime for decades.”

“However, we must not overlook the fact that the EU has also been providing support to Omar al-Bashir for some time in relation to its external policies on migration.  Through training and providing operational capacity to the Sudanese regime for border control, EU funds have also gone to former militias responsible for the terrible crimes that have been committed in Darfur,” he said.

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