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

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.

 


Sudan’s deposed Bashir questioned over 1989 coup: lawyer

Updated 54 min 7 sec ago

Sudan’s deposed Bashir questioned over 1989 coup: lawyer

KHARTOUM: Sudan’s former president Omar Al-Bashir appeared on Tuesday before a prosecutors’ committee over the 1989 coup that brought him to power, his lawyer said.
Bashir was “brought to be investigated in the case of the alleged 1989 coup,” said his lawyer, Mohamed Al-Hassan, who did not attend the hearing.
The lawyer also told reporters that in his view the hearing was “not a judicial matter, it’s a political matter.”
In 1989, Bashir, a brigadier at the time, seized power in an Islamist-backed coup that toppled the elected government of prime minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
The former president was himself ousted by the army in April of this year after months of nationwide protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades.
On November 12, Sudanese authorities filed charges against Bashir and some of his aides for “plotting” the 1989 coup. The prosecution established a special committee for the case.
If found guilty, he could face the death penalty or life imprisonment under Sudanese law.
Sudan is now ruled by a joint civilian and military sovereign council, which is tasked with overseeing a transition to civilian rule as demanded by the protest movement.
Bashir is being held in Kober prison in a separate case, for which he has been on trial since August, on charges of illegally acquiring and using foreign funds.
A verdict is due in that case on Saturday.
On Tuesday, Bashir was taken from Kober prison to the prosecutor’s office in a convoy under strong armed protection.
After the hearing, which lasted about an hour, a crowd gathered in front of the prosecutor’s office, chanting “Kober prison — the best place for you!” and “you killed people!“
Wearing the traditional white Sudanese jalabiya and turban, Bashir raised his hands to the crowd, before he set off back toward Kober in the convoy.
The veteran leader is also wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity over his role in the war in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
To date, Sudanese transitional authorities do not want to extradite the former leader to The Hague.