Sudan protest demands conflict help
Friday 11th October 2013, 5:21PM BST.
Sudanese people living in Scotland have called on MSPs to help draw attention to conflict in the African country.
A group of about 30 people, including children, took their plea to Holyrood, where they held banners protesting against Omar al-Bashir’s regime.
Dozens were killed in a week of demonstrations in Sudan last month in protests sparked by austerity measures.
The unrest prompted the United Nations human rights office to call for restraint.
Omar Gaili, 50, who lives in Edinburgh, took part in the Holyrood demonstration and said: “We hope to draw the attention of the MSPs and the UK Government, and get them to put pressure on the regime in Sudan in order to stop the systematic killing of protesters and innocent people all over the country.”
Mr Gaili said he left the country because of the regime, coming to Britain in 1991 and moving to Scotland in 1994.
Focus has shifted from Sudan because of high-profile events such as the Arab Spring, he said.
Ahmed Saied, who came to Edinburgh after suffering torture, said: “Last month, thousands of demonstrators marched in several cities in Sudan, including in and around the capital Khartoum, to protest against the government’s political and economic failures.
“These peaceful demonstrations were the biggest in Sudan since president Omar al-Bashir seized power 24 years ago.
“Police and security forces responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, and in an unprecedented level of violence they killed and injured more than two hundred protesters, including many children.
“Thousands of peaceful demonstrators and political activists were arrested, with many still in custody.
“Detained activists, including women and children under the age of 18, are facing unbearable torture inside the prisons.”