Sudan police raid university dorm, arrest hundreds

AP News
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Posted: Feb 17, 2012 3:24 PM
Sudan police raid university dorm, arrest hundreds

Sudanese police raided student dormitories at Khartoum's main university on Friday, beating and arresting hundreds of students in the latest crackdown on youth protesters, activists said.

The youth activist group Change Now said the National Intelligence Security Services stormed the dormitories before dawn at the University of Khartoum and detained more than 350 students.

All of those arrested were later released, the President of the Sudanese Student Union, Mohammed Salah, was quoted as saying by the official SUNA news agency.

Students at the university began protesting in late December to demand compensation for people displaced from their homes by construction of a dam near the city of Dammir, 175 miles (280 kilometers) northeast of the capital. The also have been calling for the right to form a student union and for an end to police violence.

Change Now said in a statement that the students arrested Friday "were brutally beaten and their properties destroyed in a haphazard manner."

"Terrorization and intimidation of the students in the dorms further complicates their reasons for protesting from the onset," the group said.

Opposition lawmaker Mariam al-Sadeq al-Mahadi, a member of the Umma Party, called the raid "an attack on freedom of expression."

"What happened is part of a crippled and failing dictatorship," she said. "We now have an illegitimate regime that has completely failed to rule because it does not provide services for people nor does it respect people's rights."