The Sudanese Government has detained a prominent human rights advocate from Darfur. Matar Younis, a teacher, and Islamic religious leader is facing the death penalty or potentially life in prison because he courageously asking the Sudanese Government to change its policies in Darfur. Younis has been consistently harassed and harmed at the hands of President Omar al-Bashir’s regime for speaking out in defense of the rights of Darfuris.
Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization that advocates for human rights worldwide, has covered Younis’ case, bringing it to the forefront. Younis was violently assaulted by Sudanese security forces in February 2018, detained in April and has since been relocated to from Darfur to the capital of Sudan, Khartoum.
Younis has been charged with “waging war against the state”, “undermining the constitutional system” and even espionage, according to Amnesty. Tragically, the report reveals that Younis is visually impaired. It is hard to image the nightmare that this human rights activist is currently enduring.
According to press releases, the State Security Prosecution has postponed Younis’ trial, which was planned for earlier this month. As of right now, there is no date set for this trial, leaving Younis to remain in prison for an indefinite amount of time. While in prison, Younis is without any resources or access to assistance. Amnesty has also noted that Younis has been denied access to legal representation and is not able to see his family members.
Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa has described Younis as one of the “few voices” championing human rights in Darfur. He spoke of Younis’ fearless actions and has asked the Sudanese Government to “change its harmful policies and protect the displaced people of Darfur. He should not be criminalized for stand up for human rights.”
Younis was arrested along with Ahmed Haroun, a Darfuri shop owner who was also sent to Khartoum in December 2017.
The human rights of Darfuris have been consistently under attack for years. The Government of Sudan must be held accountable by the international community, including the United States Government for its continued abuse and denial for basic human rights and freedoms.
For years human rights in Darfur has been under attack. The government of Sudan must be held accountable by the entire International Community, including the United States government, for its continued abuse and denial of basic human rights and freedoms.