CAIRO (AP) — “I think my country Sudan has really hit rock bottom.” Those were the last public words uttered by Usamah Mohamad, a 32-year-old Sudanese web developer-turned-citizen journalist, in a video announcing he would join protests against President Omar al-Bashir.
Mohamad, popular under his Twitter handle “simsimt,” was arrested the same day his video was aired. For the next month, his family had no idea where he was. Finally they learned he was in Khartoum’s high security prison and were allowed to visit him last week.
He was skinnier and darker, a sign he had been left to bake in the scorching Khartoum sun, people close to his case say. The family itself is saying nothing.
Mohamad and hundreds of others — no less than 2,000, activists say — have been detained the past month in a campaign unleashed by the Sudanese government. The crackdown aims to crush a new attempt to launch a protest movement calling for the ouster of al-Bashir, inspired by the Middle East’s uprisings that toppled the leaders of Sudan‘s neighbors Egypt and Libya as well as Tunisia and Yemen.
Anti-government activists see al-Bashir‘s 23-year-old regime as the ripest in the region to fall. He has been weakened by