Sudanese woman in iconic protest image reports getting death threats

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Alaa Salah propelled to internet fame earlier this week after leading powerful protest chants against President Omar Al-Bashir. (File photo/AFP)
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Updated 12 April 2019
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Sudanese woman in iconic protest image reports getting death threats

  • Salah propelled to internet fame earlier this week after clips went viral of her leading powerful protest chants against Al-Bashir
  • The 'Nubian queen' has become a symbol of the protests which she says have traditionally had a female backbone in Sudan

NEW YORK: A woman who has come to symbolize protests in Sudan after being photographed chanting atop a car during protests against President Omar Al-Bashir said on Thursday she had received death threats since her image went viral.
Clad in white, Alaa Salah can be seen poised above the crowds in Khartoum, where demonstrators gathered to demand the military hand over power to civilians.
The ouster on Thursday of Bashir, 75, followed months of protests against his rule.
“I wanted to get on the car and speak to the people,” according to a post on a Twitter account for Salah, 22, an engineering and architecture student at Sudan International University.


“We need international support, for people to be aware of what’s happening and to understand our demands.”
The post praised the role of Sudanese women, many of whom have taken to the streets in protest.
Figures from the World Bank show that less than half of women finish secondary school in Sudan where female life expectancy is about 66 years old.
“You cannot have a revolution without women. You cannot have democracy without women,” read the tweet. “We believed we could, so we did.”

Dubbed online as "Kandaka", or Nubian queen, she has become a symbol of the protests which she says have traditionally had a female backbone in Sudan. (File photo/AFP)

Calling herself “very proud to take part in this revolution,” Salah said her life has been threatened since her picture and video went viral on social media.
“I will not bow down. My voice can not be suppressed,” according to a tweet on her account, adding that she would hold Bashir responsible “if anything happens to me.”
The Thomson Reuters Foundation could not reach Salah for comment or verify that she wrote the tweets herself on her account rather than representatives.
Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and faces an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to the death of an estimated 300,000 people. He denies the allegations.

 


Turkey says understands NATO concerns over Russian missile deal

Updated 20 min 6 sec ago
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Turkey says understands NATO concerns over Russian missile deal

  • The deal for Russian S-400 missiles riled Washington, prompting US officials to suspend Turkey’s participation in the US-made F-35 jet program
  • Washington says Turkey’s adoption of Russian missile technology alongside US fighter jets would not be compatible within NATO defenses

ISTANBUL: Turkey is “taking into account” NATO concerns over its Russian missile deal, the country’s foreign minister said on Friday, in more conciliatory remarks over a purchase stoking tensions between Washington and Ankara.
The deal for Russian S-400 missiles riled Washington, prompting US officials to suspend Turkey’s participation in the US-made F-35 jet program and warn of more sanctions against its NATO ally.
Washington says Turkey’s adoption of Russian missile technology alongside US fighter jets would not be compatible within NATO defenses, citing security risks.
“We are taking into account NATO’s concerns. It is not right to say Turkey is not considering them,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a press conference in Ankara.
His remarks followed a visit by Turkey’s defense minister to Washington and a meeting between US President Donald Trump and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law at the White House, where they discussed the S-400 deal, local media reported.
“We don’t find credible the concerns that the S-400 system will allow access to the F-35 technology if they are deployed in Turkey,” the minister said.
He said Ankara was still waiting for a US response to Turkey’s proposal to set up a working group between them to work out differences over the Russian deal.
The S-400 purchase is one dispute fueling tensions between the two nations, who are also at odds over US support for Syrian Kurdish militias who Ankara brands a terrorist group and Turkish backing for US foe Venezuela.
This month, after repeated warnings, the United States said Turkey’s decision to buy the S-400 system was incompatible with it remaining part of the emblematic F-35 jet program.
Turkey had planned to buy 100 F-35A fighter jets, with pilots already training in the United States.
With Turkey in recession for the first time in a decade after a currency crisis last year, analysts say Ankara may look to avoid imposition of new US sanctions that would further damage the economy.
Last year, a trade dispute with the US prompted Washington to impose sanctions and tariffs on some Turkish goods, knocking around 30 percent off the value of the local lira currency.
Local Turkish media have reported Turkey may be considering options to ease tensions, such as the non-activation of the S-400 after delivery to Turkey, or the transfer of Russian missiles to a third country.