Sudanese woman in iconic protest image reports getting death threats

Alaa Salah can be seen poised above the crowds to demand the military hand over power to civilians

Reuters April 12, 2019
Sudanese protestor Alaa Salah. PHOTO: TWITTER

NEW YORK: A woman who has come to symbolize protests in Sudan after being photographed chanting atop a car during protests against President Omar al-Bashir said on Thursday she had received death threats since her image went viral.

Clad in white, Alaa Salah can be seen poised above the crowds in Khartoum, where demonstrators gathered to demand the military hand over power to civilians.

The ouster on Thursday of Bashir, 75, followed months of protests against his rule.

“I wanted to get on the car and speak to the people,” according to a post on a Twitter account for Salah, 22, an engineering and architecture student at Sudan International University.

“We need international support, for people to be aware of what’s happening and to understand our demands.”

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The post praised the role of Sudanese women, many of whom have taken to the streets in protest.

Figures from the World Bank show that less than half of women finish secondary school in Sudan where female life expectancy is about 66 years old.

“You cannot have a revolution without women. You cannot have democracy without women,” read the tweet. “We believed we could, so we did.”

Calling herself “very proud to take part in this revolution,” Salah said her life has been threatened since her picture and video went viral on social media.

“I will not bow down. My voice can not be suppressed,” according to a tweet on her account, adding that she would hold Bashir responsible “if anything happens to me.”

The Thomson Reuters Foundation could not reach Salah for comment or verify that she wrote the tweets herself on her account rather than representatives.

Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague and faces an arrest warrant over allegations of genocide in Sudan’s Darfur region during an insurgency that began in 2003 and led to the death of an estimated 300,000 people. He denies the allegations.

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