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Sudan: Twitter Activist Released After Two Months in Detention

Written by Maha El-Sanosi On 28 August 2012 @ 19:21 pm | 1 Comment

In Citizen Media, Digital Activism, English, Feature, Freedom of Speech, Protest, Sub-Saharan Africa, Sudan, Weblog

This post is part of our special coverage #SudanRevolts [1].

The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) launched a heavy-handed campaign in mid-June 2012, arresting thousands of protesters, activists, political party members and leaders and even law-abiding citizens from protest sites, universities, public places and in many cases people’s homes, following anti-regime protests.

However, once the protests calmed down over two months, the NISS began releasing detainees; August 17 marked the largest number of detainees released.

Among those released is Twitter activist Usamah Mohamed Ali [2] who was arrested [3] from the scene of a protest in Khartoum on June 22.

Usamah Mohamed Ali is a Sudanese Twitter activist who was arrested at a protest. He has tweeted his prison experience following his release.

Usamah Mohamed Ali is a Sudanese Twitter activist who was arrested at a protest. He has tweeted his prison experience following his release.

A month into Usamah’s arrest, Mimz [4] wrote a blog post [5] highlighting his detention.

A day after his release, he tweeted a mere two words but confirmed to his followers that he had been released:

@simsimt [6]: Struggle continues.


@simsimt [7]: I'm so grateful for all who campaigned for me! Tweets, topics & support msgs brought a lump to my throat several times while I was reading!

A week later, Usamah wrote a series of short tweets [8] narrating the conditions of his arrest.

He started off:

@simsimt [9]: Without further detail for now, I was arrested by an #NISS agent in plainclothes who approached me while I was tweeting. #SudanRevolts

@simsimt [10]: I remember very clearly that I was writing about the huge attempts made by #NISS to prevent any documentation of the protest. #SudanRevolts

Usamah explained that he refused to give away the password to his phone, provoking the anger of the NISS officers:

@simsimt [11]: Locking my phone, which I've password-protected, later became the catalyst for much abuse, torture & interrogation I'd endured #SudanRevolts


@simsimt [12]: When taken to an #NISS pickup truck that was stationed by the protest area, I was ordered several times to unlock my phone. #SudanRevolts

@simsimt [13]: I fiercely refused. When they finally gave up on me, I was taken alone on a pickup, blindfolded, to #NISS premises in Bahri. #SudanRevolts

He then notes the emotional and physical torture he sustained while in detention:

@simsimt [14]: At #NISS building, I endured almost 4 or 5 hours of verbal abuse, severe beating up and all kind of threats to unlock my phone #SudanRevolts

@simsimt: [15] I was threatened w/ sexual assault/abuse numerous times during that day. At one point, even by a top-rank #NISS officer. #SudanRevolts

Noting that:

@simsimt: [16] I endured severe beating up on my head w/ a rock, 'cause my phone while in their possession, received a call from the U.S. #SudanRevolts

@simsimt: [17] The torturer who had gone pretty mad was hysterically shouting “You're an agent, AGENT, AGENT!” while beating me up! #SudanRevolts

Explaining that NISS officers forcefully deprived him of sleep:

@simsimt [18]: When again, they finally gave up on me, I was ordered by an officer, in front of me, to be deprived from sleeping. #SudanRevolts

Usamah concluded saying:

@simsimt [19]: I hold #NISS accountable for everything I've endured. I remember the faces of my torturers and abusive officers. #SudanRevolts

This post is part of our special coverage #SudanRevolts [1].

Article printed from Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/08/28/sudan-twitter-activist-released-after-two-months-in-detention/

URLs in this post:

[1] #SudanRevolts: http://globalvoicesonline.org/specialcoverage/sudan_protest_revolt/

[2] Usamah Mohamed Ali: https://twitter.com/simsimt

[3] arrested: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/06/23/sudan-protests-trigger-arrest-of-twitter-activists

[4] Mimz: https://twitter.com/MimzicalMimz

[5] blog post: http://mimzology.blogspot.com/2012/07/a-month-has-passed-since-usamah-was.html

[6] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/236380004265648128

[7] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/236533405054038016

[8] series of short tweets: http://storify.com/simsimt/my-arrest-and-detention-by-niss-sudanrevolts?utm_source=t.co&utm_medium=sfy.co-twitter&awesm=sfy.co_j6hp&utm_campaign=&utm_content=storify-pingback

[9] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239432151072899073

[10] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239432401393180672

[11] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239434055618281472

[12] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239434447202709505

[13] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239435058547654656

[14] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239435491081064449

[15] @simsimt:: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239436486552993792

[16] @simsimt:: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239437643174260736

[17] @simsimt:: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239438134700544000

[18] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239442473112457216

[19] @simsimt: https://twitter.com/simsimt/status/239445754391973888

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