Sudan Democracy First Group releases its latest report that is titled (Tales of the Tombstones: The Discrimination Against Sudanese Students from Darfur in Sudanese Universities). The report researches and documents the extent and nature of the increasing violations against the Sudanese students descending from Darfur region in the Sudanese universities since the outbreak of the armed conflict in the Darfur in 2003.
The research report relied on a descriptive analytical approach and collected data through direct interviews with students from the region who had been subjected to abuses and violations, as well as interviews with lawyers and activists who are working in defending the rights of these students. The research team also reviewed the files of fifty-five legal cases before the courts relating to systematic violations against these students.
The report also details the violations against these students, focusing on violations of student rights and the violation of their right to complete their education, which includes the issues of tuition fees, the denial of university housing, and the administrative obstacles related to university administrations. The report also analyzes security violations and prosecutions of students from the Darfur, including the prolonged detention, physical and psychological torture in detention centers, and the political assassinations of student activists. In particular, the report referred to the role of the jihadist units in the universities (the student militias of the ruling party that are active in universities) in carrying out these violations, in addition to the role of the security apparatus and the police in these violations.
The report reviewed the unfair trials, fabricated charges and violations of the right of due process of court trials against these students, as well as the procrastination of the judges in prolonging trials hearings and judicial procedures and complicating the procedures for the bill release of those students.
As well, the report pointed out in particular to the violations of the universities’ administrations against the students of the region, which deal with negative discrimination with these students, to the extent of the refusal of implementing the decision to exempt the Students from Darfur from tuition fees, which is stipulated by the Darfur Peace Agreements. The report reviewed how this refusal led to ongoing confrontations between students and the authorities. The report also dealt with documented incidents the interference of the security services in the decisions of the university administrations of dismissing students and exposing them to other administrative and academic penalties.
The report put the following recommendations:
- The democratic forces of Sudanese society, national political forces and civil society organizations working to defend human rights should work to protect Darfuri students by providing them with protection from attacks by the regime and supporting them through all possible legal and civil means. In addition, they should give this issue the attention it deserves and push it in the forefront of the national agenda.
- The regime should be prosecuted for the crimes and violations committed against Sudanese students from Darfur through all possible means in accordance with the constitution and international law to stop these violations and bring the perpetrators to justice.
- The Sudanese government should refrain from racial discrimination against its citizens, such as the Darfuri students, and work to reform the various government agencies that practice this discrimination systematically, holding its employees who are involved in these practices accountable.
- The student Jihadi battalions affiliated with the NCP in Sudanese universities should be dismantled.
- University campuses should be protected from the intervention by the security and police.
- The Sudanese judicial system should review the procedures and judgments of all cases relating to Darfuri students, whether concluded or still before the courts. They must be reviewed fairly and students affected by unfair and summary judgments are compensated. The investigations of cases of students murdered and all other violations should also be expedited and those responsible brought to justice.
- University administrations should commit to the law and guarantee the protection of students and their rights, and make honoring the right to education without discrimination a main goal, preventing security services from interfering in their decisions.
- University administration and government should recognize the right of students from refugee camps, IDPs camps and conflict areas to be exempted from tuition due to their exceptional circumstances and inability to pay.
- Ensure the right to university housing in dorms for students exempted from tuition throughout the period of their enrollment in universities and on vacations due to lack of other alternatives.
- Free media organizations should support a discourse locally and internationally which exposes the crimes of the regime against these students.
To read the full report, please follow this link: