Sudan arrests women at aniti-rape demo2011-03-08 21:24
Khartoum - Sudanese police on Tuesday arrested 40 women who were protesting against the alleged rape of a female opposition activist last month by members of the security forces.
Around 60 women gathered in a street in Omdurman, Khartoum's twin city, defying a heavy police presence that included a large number of riot police and plain-clothes security officers, an AFP correspondent reported.
The women shouted: "Freedom! No abuse of women! No rape of women!"
Police arrested 30 of them, including Rabah al-Mahdi, a daughter of former prime minister and opposition leader Sadeq al-Mahdi, and drove them away in a security truck, beating one of the activists who continued to chant slogans.
Another 10 women were arrested shortly afterwards.
The protest was organised in response to the alleged February 13 rape of Safiya Ishaq, 25, by three security officers.
In several video clips posted on the internet last month, Ishaq claims she was beaten and raped repeatedly after being arrested on her way to the shops in central Khartoum.
A member of youth opposition group Girifna, Ishaq was one of many young Sudanese who participated in anti-government protests in Khartoum and other cities in north Sudan on January 30.
Last week, Human Rights Watch accused national security officials of having beaten, sexually abused and tortured students detained in those and subsequent demonstrations organised by youths via the Internet and inspired by events in Tunisia and neighbouring Egypt.
The security forces have maintained tight control, with police using tear gas and batons to disperse protesters and making sweeping arrests.
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
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