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Sudan: Women Targeted as #SudanRevolts Enters Second Month

This post is part of our special coverage Sudan Revolts.

As the Sudanese people's anti-regime mass demonstrations enter their second month, the Sudanese government and its notorious National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) continue their heavy clampdown on protests amid growing dissent.

Thousands of Sudanese activists remain in detention, including prominent Twitter activist Usamah M. Ali (@simsimt), who was kidnapped by the NISS over three weeks ago.

On Friday, July 13, 2012, the women of Sudan were at the forefront of the protests, where they chanted for the fall of the regime and demanded the release of all political detainees. This Friday was inaugurated the “Kandaka Friday”, in a reference to the brave and revolutionary women of Sudan. Kandake (Candace) in the Kushitic language is a title for strong women. The term was used by the Kushites to refer to their queens.

In the wake of the “Kandaka Friday”, more women were arrested in a blatant attempt by the NISS to mock the day dedicated to the women of Sudan: the Kandaka's.

Upon her release, Aliah Khaled, who was detained along with her mother and sister on Kandaka Friday, tweeted that police fired excessive teargas on protesters.

@AliahKhaled: I can't even count the bombs fired at us this time. Ridiculous amounts & they were fired far off into & by the mosque. ‪#SudanRevolts

She added:

@AliahKhaled: I was holding my mom's hand & by the mosque's gate there was a tear gas bomb that no one could've escaped. ‪#SudanRevolts

And:

@AliahKhaled: It was my first time seeing a lot of people scream of pain at once & throw up from the effect of tear gas. ‪#SudanRevolts

She said regarding her arrest:

@AliahKhaled: When we got to the ‪#NISS‬ offices in Omdurman, I will never forget the sight of MANY arrested young men, sitting facing the wall

Noting that the NISS was openly mocking the Kandaka-themed Friday:

@AliahKhaled: #NISS‬ officers congratulate each other upon the arrests & upon the arrival of new detainees to their HQ. They mocked the name Al Kandaka.

Zeinab Badreldine, whose son has been in detention for the past three weeks, was also arrested by the NISS on Kandaka Friday, along with her daughter. They were later on released, but her son remains incarcerated. She is one of the hundreds of women, wives, daughters, sisters and respectable members of the Sudanese community to be harassed, detained and emotionally abused by the NISS.

In addition to mass arrests and the targeting of female activists and protesters, incidents of rape have been reported as well as serious injuries sustained by female victims, such as Halima Hussein Omar, a junior at the University of Khartoum, who lost her eye as she was making her way out of campus during a protest.

In the backdrop of #SudanRevolts, around 2,000 remain in the custody of the NISS without facing any charges and denied access to lawyers. However, despite the government's intense crackdown on protests and president Omar Al-Bashir's insistence that the Sudanese revolution is neither a continuation of the Arab Spring nor a succession to the Sudanese people's two previous uprisings, netizens remain optimistic that the tidal wave of protests will subsequently bring an end to the reign of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP).

Mighty Mo note that every Sudanese must play their part in the revolution, which he predicts will be a success:

@mighty_mo_1: Years from now, you will be asked… where were you during the revolution? What role did you play? ‪#sudanrevolts

Adding that:

@mighty_mo_1: We are (and will remain) “detained” until we remove the NCP ‪#sudanrevolts

Ahmad Mohamed tweeted his aspirations of a better economy once the ruling NCP is overthrown, saying:

@AhmadMohamed10: Instantly available (no lead time) with the NCP gone: lifting of sanctions, oil revenues from SS, foreign investment ‪#SudanRevolts‬ ‪#Sudan

Support for #SudanRevolts from netizens from neighboring countries never ceases, where Aguil Lual Blunt tweeted on #KandakaFriday:

@AguilB: Women of the Sudans have always played a proud role in history. In honor of Abuk, Ajoba, & the Kandake – SALUTE to women of ‪#SudanRevolts

And from Egypt, the new @SudanRevoltsOrg is run by Egyptian activists who think the Sudanese revolution is just as important as the Egyptian one.

This post is part of our special coverage Sudan Revolts.

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