Sudan activists have been understandably upset lately. 263 days have passed since the release of the Obama Sudan policy and so far it seems like we’ve only slipped backwards. 500,000 Darfuris have been attacked and displaced since Obama took office, and this year has already seen the highest level of violence in two years.
As we hurtle towards the January 2011 referendum on Southern secession and the potential flashpoint for violence that it represents, many of us have been asking: where have our President’s lofty promises gone?
For the next few weeks a network of grassroots activists – with your help – will be demanding from our leaders: Don’t be Absent on Sudan! We’re launching a campaign of weekly actions that use both social networking sites and other advocacy tools to bring attention to the fact that the Obama Administration is AWOL on Sudan policy. We’ll be scaling up our asks and targets each week, so stay with us!
This week, three Sudanese students were arrested by police and allegedly tortured while in the custody of security services, apparently due to their association with the Girifna movement which is involved in peaceful political activities and critical of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).
The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies (ACPJ) said in a statement that “These arrests are the latest in a string of attacks on civil society in Sudan, which has seen an increasingly repressive environment for human rights defenders in the months since the elections. The tactic of referring detainees from police custody to NISS offices has begun to be employed systematically, sending clear signals to civil society and the broader human rights community that any offence will be treated as a national security issue”.
On Facebook: Leave messages for Secretary Clinton, Ambassador Rice and President Obama on Facebook using the links above (you’ll have to click the “like” button on each page first) ask them: Why are you silent as Sudan tortures its peaceful youth leaders? Please don’t be AWOL on Sudan. http://bit.ly/b5E2z0
On Twitter: Tweet this message:
Why is #barackobama silent as Sudan tortures its peaceful youth leaders, @presssec? http://bit.ly/b5E2z0 Why is he AWOL on #Sudan?
Send a message by phone on these three comment lines, Monday – Friday, 9-5 EST:
This is [your name] calling from [city, state]. I’m calling to ask [Secretary Clinton- Ambassador Rice-President Obama] to speak out about problems in Sudan. In particular, why have you been silent about the recent news of Sudan arresting and torturing peaceful youth leaders? Please don’t be AWOL on Sudan.