Sudanese Spy Chief Issues Order to Release Over 1,000 Protestors
Opposition leader arrested amid escalating protests.
Citizens and local leaders in Sudan continue to call for the removal of President Omar al-Bashir.
The country's intelligence chief Salah Ghosh has issued an order for the release of all those detained during protests, which began in mid-December over the rising price of bread. Over 1,000 people were arrested, including protestors journalists, professors, activists, and opposition leaders, Al Jazeera reports. Mariam al-Madhi,the deputy head of the opposition Umma Party, which is lead by her father, the opposition leader Sadiq al-Mahdi's, has also been detained. Al-Madhi is a vocal supporter of the current protests.
The protests, which began over the removal of subsidies soon escalated into calls for al-Bashir, who has been in office for 30 years, to step down immediately. Despite widespread opposition to his leadership, al-Bashir has refused and has blamed the uprising on "foreign agents." He is expected to run for reelection next year, notes Al Jazeera and has claimed that the media has exaggerated events.
There has been mounting international criticism of the government's treatment of demonstrators since the protests began. During protests in the capital of Khartoum on Tuesday, authorities used tear gar to quell demonstrators, according to a report from BBC Africa. Protests have taken place nationwide, in cities like Omdurman and in the Red City of Port Sudan as well.
According to human rights groups, 40 people have died since the unrest began.
Despite clashes with security forces, Sudanese citizens continue to take to the streets to protest ineffective leadership.