Medics Arrested For Treating Protesters Released By Sudan Junta

The authorities held the medics for tending to injured protesters, raising concerns for humanitarian actors on the rights to treat persons irrespective of their political affiliations.

Sudanese military authorities have released nine medics working with the Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) a day after being arrested for treating injured protesters during a crackdown on anti-coup demonstrations.

According to a statement by the pro-democracy Central Committee for Sudanese Doctors on Tuesday, Jan. 25, the MSF staff members were detained in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, on Monday as they were making their way back to their office from Al Gawd hospital.

Among those arrested and later released were staff members from both Sudan and other countries like France, Italy, and Yemen, according to the medical aid group.

Aside from treating anti-coup protesters, the medics were also part of an emergency team working with health authorities to treat Covid-19 patients in Khartoum.

The group said the arrest was a violation of human rights amidst “a number of previously documented attacks on hospitals, health facilities, patients and medical staff.”

Health workers have been walking on eggshells since the military junta led by Abdel Fattah Al-Burhan took control in Oct. 2021, ousting the power-sharing transition government.

There have been at least 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities between Nov. 2021, and Jan. 2022, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Earlier, HumAngle analysed how Sudan is breaching international humanitarian laws that require health workers to be left alone to do their work. It argued that the attacks on medical aid workers could worsen the humanitarian situation in the country, already battered by years of war, just as foreign aid was cut off to condemn the military coup in Oct. 2021.

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Aishat Babatunde

Aishat Babatunde heads the digital reporting desk. Before joining HumAngle, she worked at Premium Times and Nigerian Tribune. She is a graduate of English from the University of Ibadan.

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