Education unions condemn arrest of Sudanese teachers’ leader

The arrest and disappearance of Yassin Hassan Abdelkarim, president of the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee on 28 June has drawn strong condemnation from the University and College Union (UCU) and International Solidarity Officers in the NEU teachers’ union. Paul Cottrell, acting General Secretary of UCU wrote to the Sudanese ambassador calling for Yassin’s immediate release after hearing that armed men stormed his house in the early hours of 28 June and took him away to an unknown location.

Sudanese activists are extremely concerned that he could face torture or death in detention at the hands of the brutal militias affiliated with the Transitional Military Council who have already killed over 100 protesters during attacks on peaceful sit-ins after 3 June. The Teachers Committee is an independent union which has played a key role organising teachers’ strikes in recent years.

UCU calls for immediate release of Yassin Hassan Abdelkarim, president of the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee #StandWithSudan https://t.co/DzJvmZVJaM

— UCU (@ucu) July 2, 2019

International Solidarity Officers in NEU adopted a resolution on 1 July also calling for Yassin’s release alongside other political prisoners. Huge protests gripped on Sudan on Sunday, following a call by the Sudanese Professionals Association and the opposition Forces of Freedom and Change for further peaceful demonstrations and civil disobedience to demand the transfer of power to a civilian government from the ruling Military Council.

Statement by International Solidarity Officers, NEU

We, National Education Union International Solidarity Officers, condemn the arrest of our brother and colleague Yassin Hassan Abdulkarim President of the Teachers’ Committee in Sudan.

We support the struggle for democratic rights and civilian government in Sudan. We support the demonstrations called by the Sudanese Professional Association and note protestors have exercised non-violent civil disobedience in pursuit of their aims.

We condemn any use of force, including that used on June 3rd in Khartoum, against these peaceful protests.

In addition, the arbitrary arrest of civilians exercising their right to organise cannot be tolerated. We call on our government, trade unions and human rights organisations to demand the immediate release of Yassin Hassan Abdulkarim.

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