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Sudan: Sudanese Activist, Alim Boushi, Freed from Prison

A case that Sudanese bloggers and tweeps have been highlighting in recent days, indicating the current repressive state of affairs in Sudan, is the arrest of the Sudanese political activist and engineer Mohamed Hassan Alim, nicknamed Boushi. Alim was released on January 17, 2011 after 24 days in jail. He was arrested after publicly and harshly criticizing Nafi Ali Nafi, a prominent Sudanese politician, for corruption.

Before his release, Sudanese blogger, Mimz wrote a passionate post expressing her anger and explaining what happened to Alim.

Over the past couple of years, the Sudanese government illegally detained many political activists, opposition party members, anti-NCP revolutionaries, students and journalists who spoke up against injustice. What happens to these detainees at national security prisons or “Ghost Houses” is incomprehensible and beyond any sane person’s mental capacity.

… In mid-December, Alim stood in front of a podium at the University of Khartoum and courageously confronted Nafie Ali Nafie for his crimes against the Sudanese people. He spoke up for you, me and the millions of Sudanese citizens who are struggling day to day to put bread on the table, find jobs and live a well-deserved respectful life. He voiced some of the frustrations we are facing because of the current government, and confronted Nafie and co for their corruption.

For three majestic minutes, Alim was the voice of every oppressed Sudanese person who ever endured a hardship in their life while watching the government privilege its own members and their families by generously offering them money, jobs, and perks earned with the blood and sweat of the average Sudanese people like they were theirs to give.

A few days after his speech, which was recorded and uploaded on YouTube, Alim was arrested from his home. The video now has over 240,000 views. Amnesty International took note of the events and released a statement about Alim's detention.

On 26 December 2011, Mohamed Hassan Alim was arrested from his house in Khartoum by seven men dressed in plain-clothes, believed to be NISS agents. He was beaten by the men in front of his mother and taken away in a car. He has been held incommunicado at an undisclosed location since his arrest. He faces serious risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment.

Sudanese bloggers and tweeps worried about Alim's fate. Mimz was also concerned and railed against Alim's arrest:

Alim’s freedom is our demand, and his blood is not only in Nafie’s hands, it’s in ours as well if we don’t speak up and demand his protection and his immediate release.

In a world where chivalry is dead and cowardice is spread like a viral disease, Alim stands out and is labeled Sudan’s Bouazizi.

The issues Alim took up with Nafie relate to corruption and favoritism… does this earn him an abduction and justify why his mother has to suffer not knowing his whereabouts, what is being done to him and if he will ever be released?

On the other hand, Zol Sudani, shared his thoughts on the matter in a blog post in Arabic, with an excerpt translated below.

بوشي كشفنا كلنا، كشف السودانيين فرد فرد، كشفنا أمام أنفسنا.. .. كشف نافع علي نافع و أصحابه مدعي التدين، فأثبت أنهم أضعف من أن يردوا الحجة بالحجة.. كشف الأمن الوطني، فهم ليسوا جهاز لحفظ أمن البلاد و المواطنين كما أقسموا أمام الله و الشعب، فأثبت أنهم موجودون لحفظ النظام ولو على حساب مواطن أعزل

Boushi exposed us all. He exposed the Sudanese, one bye one. He exposed us to ourselves. He exposed Nafi Ali Nafi, and his companions who claim to be religious. He proved that they're weak and unable to respond to an argument with an argument. He exposed how the national security is not dedicated to protecting the country and its people as they swore in their oaths. He proved that they're there just to protect the regime, even if this is at the expense of a weak unarmed citizen.

Sudanese on Twitter, like @daloya, tweeted with the hashtag #FreeAlim asking where Alim was.

@daloya: Boshi's mother, “I was promised 2 see Boshi 2 weeks after his arrest, I still have not been allowed 2 see him”. #FreeBoshi #FreeAlim #Sudan

Upon his release, Alim himself, said to Bloomberg News, “I didn’t know if I was going to be killed, held in prison forever, or if was going to see my family again.”

On January 1, 2012 Sudanese celebrated their country's 56th Independence Day. But some like Sudanese blogger, D3a Bin Kar however questioned what has ultimately been gained through independence:

we thought with independence, we would gain true freedom, equality, human rights and a chance to realize all the dreams our forefathers dreamed for our beloved Sudan.

For 56 years ago, Sudan has gone through a civil war, turmoil, drought, famine and recently a secession.

Millions have died unnecessarily, millions displaced, millions go to bed hungry every night. These are just not numbers but there are millions of individuals who need not to have gone through all of this.

All could have been avoidable.

D3a Bin Kar continues his post with a round up of key events that happened in Sudan throughout 2011, and ends on a more optimistic note.

Perhaps, 2012, will mark our true independence.

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