Sudan: Twitter Activist Released After Two Months in Detention

This post is part of our special coverage #SudanRevolts.

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 who was arrested 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 wrote a blog post 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: Struggle continues.


@simsimt: 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 narrating the conditions of his arrest.

He started off:

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

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


@simsimt: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 comment

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.