Sudan: Blogger Recounts Three Days of Interrogation

This post is part of our special coverage Sudan Revolts.

Sudanese blogger Maha Elsanosi vividly describes her three days of interrogation at the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), after being arrested in Sudan.

In her must-read post, Maha, who is our Global Voices Online author for Sudan, recounts:

During my first detention, I faced 4 hours of emotional abuse. One interrogator said to me: “Take a good look at the window, this will be the last time you ever see the sun.” Another told me that I was going to be transferred to women's prison without anyone as much as looking at my file. That's how dangerous they deemed me to be.

Maha is a member of Girifna, a non-violent resistance movement made up of Sudanese university graduates, whose name translates to “we are fed up.” The group states that its aim is to overthrow the ruling National Congress Party, which governs Sudan, and hopes to develop a shared vision for a national agenda, which will steer their country forward. Their Twitter account is available here and is used to spread information about the on-going revolution in Sudan.

Demonstrations started in the Sudanese capital Khartoum last month, after the government announced spending cuts and other austerity measures. And unlike other countries, the protests, which continue today, are under-reported.

Maha's second day of interrogation lasted a grueling 11 hours. She describes them:

I was threatened, blackmailed, insulted, emotionally abused and psychologically tortured. They had my laptop and they told me they had access to all my photos; and that they would use them if they sensed I'm causing any trouble. I was also told that they could easily make me lose my job. “You have nice pictures on your phone”, one guy said to me. “You have a lot of fans,” he added. The same guy was browsing through the photos on my laptop. He saw a picture of me and my best friend hugging. He then asked me if I was a lesbian.

Her third day's interrogation lasted for two hours. After her questioning, Maha says:

They made me sign a statement pledging that I will not take part in any Girifna activities, citing that if I do, I will be subjected to trial under the security law. They made my dad sign the same statement. They gave me back my phone and other items, but said that they will keep the two laptops for “further investigation”. I claimed them back a short while ago.

She also reminds us:

Among those still detained for weeks are Boshi, who was also arrested earlier this year, Usamah Ali, a prominent citizen journalist and a Twitter microcelebrity, Girifna members Mohamed Izzelden and Rashida Shamseldin and many, many others. They are all at risk of torture. They have sacrificed their freedoms for the sake of a free Sudan.

Mohamed Izzelden has since been released.

This post is part of our special coverage Sudan Revolts.

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