Sudan: Chilling Account of the Arrest of an Online Activist

Sudanese Internet activist and lawyer Abdel Hakim Abdel Rahman Nasr was arrested in a raid on his house on the night of March 5 – and released March 11.

Nasr was detained only a few hours after he expressed his support for the International Criminal Court arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on the online International Forum for Nubia, where he is a moderator.

In this chilling post [Ar], on the forum which is now open to members only, Nasr details his arrest:

تم اعتقالي ليلة الخميس الجمعة 5-6 مارس الجاري في عملية تشبه حوادث السطو في المدن ولا يزال تاثير هذا الحادث يلقي بظلاله السالبة علي قراناالامنة فليست هذه هي المرة الاولي التي اعتقل فيها ولكن تاثير هذا الاعتقال لا يزال محفورا في ذهن اطفال اخي وجيراننا بل واطفال الاحياء المجاورة بل وتجاوز الامر الاطفال فحتي كبار السن اصبحوا لا يحسون بالامان
I was arrested on the night of March 5 in an operation close to burglary in cities and the effect of that raid is still reverberating through our peaceful villages. It wasn't the first time I had been arrested, but the effect of this arrest is etched in the memories of children, and our neighbours and even children in neighbouring areas. Even adults don't feel at peace anymore.

On his treatment during his detention, Nasr writes:

عوملت معاملة غير انسانية منذ اعتقالي فجر الجمعة حتي نهاية نهار السبت وهذا ما ساقصه بكل تفصيل ولا تزال اثاره باقية في جسدي حيث فقدت نعمة السمع في اذني اليمني وتاثير كبير في عيني اليمني وشعور بالدوار لم يفارقني ويمنعني من مزاولة عملي .
   تغيرت المعاملة بعد ذلك وقام مدير جهاز الامن بالاعتذار بشدة اكثر من مرة وتغيرت معاملته لي حتي لحظة مغادرتي المعتقل ولكنني انسان اولا واخيرا .لا زلت اعاني من ويلات الطريقة التي بها اعتقلت فاسرتي فقدت الامان حيث ان اطفال اخي يعانون من الكوابيس ليلا وتظل الابواب مغلقة ليل نهار وتعاني اسرتي جراء ما حل بهم .وفقدت شخصيا نعمة السمع مما يمنع التواصل بيني وبين اخي مزمل الذي يعاني من فقدان السمع منذ سنوات.
I was treated in an inhumane manner since my arrest at dawn on Friday until the end of the day on Saturday and this is what I will narrate in detail as its effects are still evident on my body. I have lost my ability to hear in my right ear and my sight in my right eye has been affected. I also feel dizzy the entire time and this prevents me from doing my work. The way I was treated changed after that, and the head of the security unit apologised to me more than once and his treatment changed until I was released. However, I am a human being at the end of the day, and I still suffer from the way I was arrested and my family has lost its security. My brother's children suffer from nightmares and the doors to our house are locked during the day and night and my family is suffering because of that. I also personally lost my hearing ability and this prevents me from communicating with my brother Muzamil, who has lost his hearing years ago.

Nasr then details how he was woken up from his sleep by one of 11 men who raided his home:

ظننت ان اخي الكبير قد دخل الصالون لبعض اغراضه الا ان صوت المتحدث نبهني فازحت الغطاء عني فاذا باضواء كثيرة مسلطة علي وجهي وبادرني احدهم بالسؤال عن اسمي واردف (ايوة قوم معانا بدون أي شوشرة واتعامل معانا كويس عشان نعاملك كويس)ووجدت يداي خلف ظهري وفوهة سلاحين خلف خاصرتي ومن طلب مني التحرك وعندما سالتهم عن هويتهم اسكتني احدهم وطلبوا مني الخروج عبر تسلق السور فرفضت ذلك وطلبت الخروج عبر البوابة فانصاعوا وطلبت منهم اخبار اسرتي فردوا بانهم سيقومون بذلك ولكن بمجرد وصولنا العربة التي كانت تنتظر بالخارج انطلقوا دون اخبار اهلي .
I had thought that my elder brother had come into the living room (where he was sleeping) to take some of his things, but was surprised by a voice waking me up. I moved my blanket away from me and saw lights beaming on my face. One of them asked me for my name and continued: “Get up with us without making noise. Deal with us properly so that we treat you properly. I felt hands on my back and the mouths of two rifles pushing my sides. I was asked to move. When I asked them for their identities, one of them asked me to remain silent and they asked me to leave the house by climbing over the fence. I refused that and insisted on leaving through the gate, so they agreed. I asked them to inform my family, and they said they will do so. However, as soon as we got to the car which was waiting outside, they sped off without telling my family.

The men then took him through a few villages, changed cars and stopped to pray. Nasr recalls:

وصلنا قرية غرب سمت فتوقفوا لاداء الصلاة وعندها تبينت لي ملامحهم وبعد اداء الصلاة بدأ مسلسل التعذيب كانهم امروا بذلك اثناء السجود
We arrived at the village of West Samt, where they stopped for prayers. I was then able to identify their features. After prayers, the torture started. It was as though they were ordered to torture me during their Sujiud (prostration).


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