Sudanese women continue to fight for equality after the overthrow of the regime

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Sudanese woman lawyer and human rights activist Amani Osman, who spent seven hours in a cold cell and 40 days in prison for demonstrating against the Sudanese regime, says Sudanese women will continue to fight for equality.

In a country where women are subject to many restrictions in the name of Islamic law, women were at the forefront of the protest movement that led to the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, who was ousted by the army on April 11, 2019 after he ruled the country for 30 years.

On 12 January, Amani Osman was taken to solitary confinement known as the “refrigerator” in Khartoum. In Sudan, where temperatures are often close to 50 degrees Celsius, extreme cold is one way of torturing opponents.

“In that room there are no outlets and nothing but air conditioned with maximum cooling and lighting throughout the day and all days of the week,” Troy Osman said.

The “refrigerator” is located in a detention center run by the intelligence services and in a secret building on the edge of the Blue Nile.

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Dozens of activists, demonstrators and political opponents of the al-Bashir regime have entered the building, which the intelligence agents call the “hotel”. Osman says it is a “dirty” place.

The interrogation takes place in those very cool rooms. Following the interrogation, according to the mood of the guards, the detainee is allowed to leave or be transferred to a prison.

Upon arrival, Amani Osman recalls that one of the intelligence agents congratulated his comrades, saying, “You have hunted the animal.” All its objects were confiscated except for its Koran.

During questioning she was shivering in cold. “You want to pretend to demand better conditions, only to reach us and we will do everything we can for that,” one security officer said.

“I was arrested in violation of all laws and morals because I am a fighter and I defend women in countries where they have no voice.”

Salwa Mohammed, 21, said: “Because I am a woman who can not go out alone and I can not study abroad or dress as I want.”

She was demonstrating every day to “make women’s voices heard” at a protest rally organized by protesters in April in front of the army headquarters in Khartoum.

Alaa Saleh (22 years old) was the icon of the Sudanese revolution and was famous for delivering poems that glorify Sudanese women’s tournaments.

On 3 June, an unprecedented sit-in demanding a civil order was adjourned by force. After weeks of tension, the ruling junta and leaders of the protest movement signed a three-year transitional agreement.

“We will not wait to give our rights, we will fight for them,” Amani Osman said. “The Sudanese are demanding 40 percent of the seats in the next parliament.”

She said the coalition of “forces of freedom and change,” which leads the protests within this requirement in the agreement with the military council.

“This movement is an opportunity for women to be heard,” said Amira Tijani, an English professor at Ahfad University for Girls in Omdurman.

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This university, founded in 1966 and dedicated solely to females, is unique in the country. For example, she teaches medicine, pharmacy and psychology, in which she explains the rights of Sudanese women and warns students of the phenomena of circumcision, early marriage or rape.

“This place is a space for freedom,” says Ayub Albino Akol, a 22-year-old pharmacy student. At university, the student removes the head covering and wears modern clothes.

“Islam gives freedom to men and women,” says Dawali, 46, who teaches the Koran at the Omdurman mosque. “Religion has recommended the application of Sharia to everyone’s will.”

Amani Osman says the rules of shari’a have been “distorted” in 30 years of hard-line reading of the Omar al-Bashir regime (which has allied with the Muslim Brotherhood) “to you the mouths of women.”

“But a new Sudanese is born, with a civil government that will allow equality” in the country, she added.

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