UN expresses outrage over Osman’s arrest, citing a ‘pattern of violence against women’s rights activists’ in Sudan.
Gunmen have arrested prominent Sudanese women’s rights activist Amira Osman in a night raid on her home in Sudan’s capital Khartoum, her sister said.
Osman’s arrest comes amid what activists say is a arrest campaign of civil society and pro-democracy figures since a military takeover in October.
The United Nations mission in Sudan said on Twitter that they were outraged by Osman’s arrest, citing a “pattern of violence against women’s rights activists” that runs the risk of reducing their participation in politics.
Outraged over arrest of women’s rights lawyer Amira Osman overnight
Amira’s arrest and pattern of violence against women’s rights activists runs a serious risk to reduce their political participation in Sudan, we ask for her release Authorities must respect the right to freedom of assembly pic.twitter.com/OLKfRbIxpa
UN Integrated Transitional Assistance Mission Sudan (@UNITAMS) 23 January 2022
Sudanese security officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some high-profile political figures have been released since the October 25 coup, but activists say others remained in custody and arrests continued.
About 15 armed, masked men wearing civilian clothes abducted Osman after storming her home in the Al Riyadh neighborhood late Saturday night, her sister Amani Osman told Reuters news agency on Sunday.
“We do not know where she is or the security agency that took her. “We are concerned about the nature of her arrest and her critical health condition,” she said, adding that Osman was partially paralyzed in an accident a few years ago.
Osman campaigned for women’s rights in Sudan under former President Omar al-Bashir, who was set aside during an uprising in 2019.
She was arrested in 2013 under public order laws for refusing to wear a headscarf and was convicted in 2002 and fined for wearing trousers.
Women played a prominent role in the protests that led to al-Bashir’s overthrow. A transitional government later repealed the Public Order Act used to regulate women’s dress and behavior, although some other restrictive laws remained.