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Sudan Doctors Arrested: Demand Their Release

by on June 23, 2010

In early June, six leading Sudanese doctors were arrested by the Sudanese Government's National Security and Intelligence Services (NISS) and detained without charge for their membership in the Doctors' Strike Committee, which has called for improvements in salaries and working conditions.The violence against the Doctors' Strike Committee members is escalating. Yesterday, another committee member, Dr. Hisham Abdulgani, was reportedly arrested while leaving Khartoum hospital after meeting with several consultants and government officials who had invited him to discuss a peaceful resolution to the dispute. Just today, NISS agents reportedly entered the house of another Committee leader, Dr. WalaEldin Ibrahim, and his wife, mother and children were questioned as to his whereabouts.Take action now. Email the Sudanese Government today and urge them to release these doctors immediately and unconditionally and to provide any medical attention they may need.In 2003, doctors came together to demand better working conditions from the Government of Sudan. After a brief strike, the government accepted a 12-point agreement with the physician activists, which included a salary increase.Seven years later, that agreement has yet to be implemented. Doctors formed a new Doctors' Strike Committee in early 2010, and held a series of strikes that ended when the government agreed to implement the agreement in April 2010. However, Sudan's Ministry of Health then withdrew the agreement in mid-May, and the Doctors' Committee called a meeting for June 2, to decide next steps. Before the meeting could be held, several doctors were arrested, one severely beaten.On June 2, doctors and medical students from the University of Khartoum organized a protest to demand the release of their colleagues.?Officers of the NISS attacked the peaceful protesters, badly injuring several of them. During the first week of June, more doctors were arrested, and other members of the Doctors' Strike Committee were forced into hiding. There are reports that some of the doctors have been severely beaten.Today, the doctors remain on strike until their colleagues are released, and medical students have been assigned to cover hospital duties across Sudan. At least seven doctors are in prison, and are at risk of abuse or torture. Other doctors and their families continue to be threatened.The Sudanese medical system is in crisis. The Doctors' Strike Committee is negotiating with the Sudanese Government for their colleagues' release.Your voice can make a difference. Take action today.Email the Embassy of Sudan and the Sudan Mission to the UN, and call on the Government of Sudan to release the six doctors detained in early June: Dr. Alhadi Bahkeit, Dr. Ahmed Alabwabi, Dr. Ashraf Hammad, Dr. Mahmoud Khairallah, Dr. Abdelaziz Ali Jame, Dr. Ahmed Abdullah KhalafAllah, as well as Dr. Hisham Abdulgani, immediately and unconditionally. And demand the government peacefully resolve talks with the Doctors' Strike Committee so that physicians can return to work and the health of all Sudanese can be promoted and protected.

Places: Sudan

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