Joint General Secretaries of NEU demand immediate release of Sudan teachers’ leader

Teachers played a key role in the uprising against dictator Omar al-Bashir which began last December, following a government decision to triple bread prices. The protests succeeded in bringing down al-Bashir, who had ruled since a coup in 1989. A transitional military council stepped in quickly to take al-Bashir’s place but protesters have been demanding civilian rule. Teachers’ strikes over issues such as non-payment of salaries preceded the emergence of a nation-wide uprising.

Since December 2018 mass protests have spread across the country, despite the authorities’ efforts to crush them. The movement is coordinated by the Sudanese Professionals Association, which includes teachers and has involved large numbers of strikes. Repression has been fierce, with many killed by the security forces, including a massacre of over 100 peaceful protesters at a sit-in in Khartoum on June 3rd. Others have died in custody. Teacher Ahmed al-Kheir from Kassala province in Eastern Sudan was tortured to death after being arrested and on 28 June, Yassin Hassan Abdulkarim, President of the Teachers’ Committee and a leading figure in the protest movement, was taken from his house by regime forces.

The NEU has sent a letter to the Sudanese Embassy demanding the immediate release of Yassin Hassan Abdulkarim. The letter also calls on the transitional authorities to fully respect and uphold the Sudanese peoples’ rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and for an immediate halt to the use of lethal and unnecessary force against peaceful protesters.

A link to a recent Amnesty International press release on the situation in Sudan can be found here