Mass hunger strike in Sudan jail continues for sixth day running

Mass hunger strike in Sudan jail continues for sixth day running
Prisoners are protesting over conditions as cells in Soba prison fill with protesters and opposition activists, as families have continued to lobby for their release in the capital.
2 min read
19 February, 2022
Prisoners in Soba prison were protesting detention without charge [Getty]

Over 100 prisoners in a South Khartoum jail, including high-profile political figures, continued on hunger strike for the sixth consecutive day, according to local Sudanese media sources. 

Prisoners in Soba prison were protesting detention without charge, over-crowded conditions, prevention from seeing families and being denied urgent medical care.

"Some have been detained without facing charges, and others still await investigations," said the Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors in a statement on Monday, when the hunger strike began. 

The hunger strike was announced after authorities in the Sudanese capital arrested prominent opposition figures and members of civil society, continuing their clampdown on protesters opposing the October coup. 

On 13 February, authorities arrested prominent politician Mohammed al-Fekki who was then transferred to Soba prison shortly before the strike started.

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Meanwhile, protesters staged a sit-in outside the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in central Khartoum on Wednesday,  and were joined by lawyers representing detainees and their families. 

“My son has been on hunger strike for three days and I am holding the government responsible for any harm that might befall him," said the mother of a prisoner speaking to Sudanese journalists at the protest. 

The health condition of the hunger strikers is not currently known, as security officials continue to restrict access to detainees inside Soba prison. 

Sudan has been rocked by deepening unrest since a military coup led by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan in October 2021 - a move that triggered regular mass anti-coup protests.