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Sudan: 'horrific attack' on hospital targets injured protesters

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“It is not a crime to call for a better standard of living” - Sarah Jackson

Amnesty International can confirm that Sudanese security forces stormed a hospital in the city of Omdurman last night, firing live bullets and teargas as they looked for people injured during protests earlier in the day.

During the protests, security forces opened fire on protesters, killing at least three people and hospitalising eight with gunshot wounds to the head, chest, stomach and legs.

In pursuit of the injured protesters, security officers opened fire in the Omdurman Hospital courtyard before entering the hospital’s emergency areas.  Fortunately, no-one was injured during the attack.

Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, said:

“This attack on a hospital is an outrageous violation of international law.

“Patients and doctors in Omdurman Hospital were attacked with tear gas and live bullets as Sudanese security forces ramped up their mission to suppress peaceful protests.

“There must be an urgent investigation into this horrific attack, and all officers involved must be held accountable.

“The Government of Sudan must also take immediate action to stop the practice of shooting protesters and respect the Sudanese people’s right to freedom of expression.”

Since 19 December, there have been more than 380 protests across Sudan against the high cost of living. More than 40 people have been killed and many more have sustained debilitating injuries, as government security forces have violently cracked down on protesters. More than 1,000 people have so far been arrested.

Man in need of urgent medical treatment must be released

Amnesty today called for the urgent release of a man who was shot and injured in protests on 25 December and is now being held by the security officers from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

Yasser Elsir Ali, 57, sustained serious injuries at a protest in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. A bullet fractured his ribs, punctured a lung, and lodged in his spinal cord.  After being stabilised in hospital, Yasser was due to travel to the United Arab Emirates for specialised spinal treatment but was arrested by NISS officers on 5 January. His whereabouts remains unknown.

Sarah Jackson said:

“The Sudanese authorities must immediately release Yasser Elsir Ali and allow him to go for treatment. His life is in jeopardy and he needs urgent specialised medical attention.”

“They must also immediately and unconditionally release those people who have been arrested simply for peacefully protesting. It is not a crime to call for a better standard of living.”

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