Category Archives: African States

Sudan: Five Young Artists Sentenced for “Public Annoyance”

Duaa Tarig Ahmed Mohamed (photo: SIHA)

The Central Khartoum Primary Court issued a verdict against five young artists to two months imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 SDG (equivalent of 90,9 USD). On August 10th, neighbors of Civic Lab network, an organization in Khartoum where rehearsal of a play was taking place, complained about too much noise. The complaint increased to physical attacks to the artists and the staff of the Civic Lab. When the police arrived they arrested the artists and did not stop the neighbors to beat them with sticks and to throw stones at them.
The artists are: Duaa Tarig Mohamed Ahmed (Program and Office Manage), Abdel Rahman Mohamed Hamdan, Ayman Khalaf Allah Mohamed Ahmed, Ahmed Elsadig Ahmed Hammad, Hajooj Mohamed Haj Omar (aka Hajooj Kuka, awarded filmmaker). These artists have spent the last two years creating art to support Sudan’s quest for freedom and democracy. They have created hundreds of murals and films in the public service, supported the Prime Minister’s office and Sudan National Television, and conducted hundreds of civic engagement workshops across Sudan through their work at the Civic Lab network.
Duaa, along with 4 of her colleagues were charged separately while another 6 artists are awaiting a verdict on Sunday 20th September. The Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africe (SIHA) is extremliy concerned that “The legal framework, legal procedures and the articles of the law itself are designed to criminalise and prosecute civilians, particularly women and minorities. Women and activists are still an active target of the law enforcement in Sudan, and the criminalisation of women is legally enabled.”

ACAR states that artists are at the vanguard of positive change in Sudan. They have to be protected from violent mobs. The civilian led government has to to investigate the judges and police involved in this case. 

Sources: Press release from SIHA network, Durban FilmMart Institute, Gisa Media

LGBT Dancer/Choreographer Kirvan Fortuin murdered

Dancer and choreographer Kirvan Fortuin died after being stabbed on June 13. The South African founder and artistic director of the Kirvan Fortuin Foundation and founder of House of Le Cap, South Africa’s first ballroom house Fortuin was also a dedicated LGBTQI+ activist.

For the past few years Fortuin resided between South Africa and the Netherlands, and danced for a Dutch dance company. He received many awards, among them a Ministerial recommendation at the Western Cape Cultural Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Preservation and Promotion of an Indigenous Art form.

Source:  CapeTownetc  

Violent repression in Sudan

The Sudanese government acknowledged the death of 19 people during the nationwide peaceful protests s while Amnesty International reported that 37 people were killed since the 19 December. Also, hundreds were injured while dozens of opposition leaders are under arrest.  The opposition alliance Sudan Call, has urged the international community to stand in solidarity with the Sudanese people in their pursuit for democracy and condemn the violent repression of peaceful protests.

Via the independent theater community in Sudan we got a petition to stop the ethnic discriminatory targeting of Darfuri students. Sign the petition on change.org: United Nations: Stop the ethnic discriminatory targeting of Darfuri students by ruling NCP regime of Sudan

Sources: Sudan Tribune 31st December 2018, Al-Ahram weekly, Sudan Democracy First Group, Young people lead the resistance in Sudan at  Africa is a Country 

Actor sparks debate on access to affordable housing in Nigeria

Kelechi Udegbe, a budding Nigerian actor in the city of Lagos, features in the 6 part documentary drama series “Kelechi’s Quest” where he weighs his option of finding a suitable accommodation within his budget, thereby sparking a debate about new ways of accessing affordable accommodation and about the equitability of housing policies of Lagos State.

Source: Heinrich Böll Stiftung Nigeria

Egypt’s independent human rights community at risk

logo_euromedEuromed Rights is a network of more than 80 human rights organisations, institutions and individuals based in 30 countries in the Euro-Mediterranean. The network develops and strengthens partnerships between NGOs, disseminates human rights values, advocates for them and increases the capabilities of local partners in this regard.

In a joint statement with several international Human Rights NGOs Euromed Rights warns against the complete eradication of Egypt’s independent human rights community. On Saturday 17 September the Cairo Criminal Court ruled the asset freeze to five Human Rights defenders and three NGOs. All finances and programmes are to be handed over to government officials, giving them control their activities and full access to their records and database, including files related to victims of human rights violations. The statement indicates the recent attacks as “part of a larger crackdown, not only on human rights defenders, but also on the media, trade unions and peaceful protesters, which will further worsen the ongoing closure of the public sphere and of civil society space.”

See also the campaign to support imprisioned human rights activists in Egypt.

Silvanos Mudzvova abducted and tortured

mudzvovaThe 38-year-old theatre artist and activist from Harare (Zimbabwe) has been arrested in April this year for staging his play “Missing Diamonds, I Need My Share”.  Mudzova was abducted by six armed men from his home late in the evening on 13 September 2015. They drove him out of the capital city and brutally tortured him.  “They targeted me as I am responsible for the creative side of a movement called Tajamuka and was also acting as its spokesperson” Mudzvova told Freemuse from his hospital bed. The group Tajamuka has been involved in calling into question various governmental measures over, among other things, policing, unemployment, the country’s cash crisis and an accounting of the $15 billion President Mugabe recently said went missing from mining operations. The group is also in the final stages of submitting an application to the International Criminal Court addressing cases of abduction and political violence.

Sources: Freemuse, Daily News (Harare, Zimbabwe), News24