They were fired this Tuesday. Their arrest sparked an uprising last month in Khartoum because everyone had taken part in the revolution that brought down Omar al-Bashir’s regime in 2018. Among them was young director Hajouj Kouka.
It all started in a neighborhood dispute in the popular district of el-Zouhour in Khartoum-Nord in early August. A dance and theater group was rehearsing its latest creation as neighbors complained about noise. The tone rose and a complaint was lodged by the neighbors.
Then the police intervened, and during the discussion, a police officer took a picture of one of the artists. The latter demanded that the picture be deleted, to which the police officer responded and beat her. His friends then protested against this gesture and everyone was initiated.
Neighbors quickly withdrew their complaint, but on September 17, a first group of five artists were sentenced to two months in prison and a £ 5,000 Sudanese fine for “disrupting public order”. At the trial, two of them showed up with forcibly shaved heads and complained that they had been brutalized in prison. One week later, six others, including director Hajouj Kouka, who won the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, were again sentenced to the same sentence.
After winning on appeal, the first group was released on October 1st. And on Wednesday, the last six detainees returned to their civilian lives.