Journalists Kidnapped, Imprisoned and Tortured in Darfur

Former  Chadian  General Abakar M. Abdullah , a native of the Zagawa Tribe in Darfur, this writer and Deborah Martin have published a series of articles  on the lies behind the Genocidal Jihad  perpetrated by the  regime of indicted war criminal, President Omar al-Bashir against  the indigenous people of  Sudan.

We published the details of  the regime’s agenda of the secret Arab Coalition Plan that Abdallah recovered in 2015 in the cab of a captured  pickup truck  of the Janjaweed Rapid Support  Force (RSF) renamed by  Bashir, as the Peace Force.  That plan has been implemented with the objective of completing the ethnic cleansing on or before 2020. We reported on the RSF peace force and the recruitment, equipping, training and of a veritable Jihad Army of an estimated 150,000 Arab tribal fighters from the Sahel region, terrorist groups from Africa and the Middle East. That included fighters from the Islamic State deployed in 16 training camps around the capital of Khartoum. It is furtherance of the Bashir plan to create a regional Caliphate in Africa.

We reported on the evidence of the eradication campaign of the regime’s peace force in Darfur and the Nuba Mountains and the deliberate provocations against Internally Displaced Persons camps aimed at intimidating  indigenous tribal people to flee into neighboring countries or urban areas.

We recently reported on the billions of dollars of funded Sudan mineral extraction, water ,infrastructure and agricultural development projects by the Saudi Kingdom and Emeriti governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council.  Saudia  Arabia has also funded over $5 billion for support of Sudanese military in the War in Yemen. Those billions of dollars of projects announced at the recent Amman Arab League Summit were directed at creating  a veritable bread basket for the Sunni Arab Middle East in the lands being cleansed of Sudan indigenous  people replaced by Arab settlers  . These billions of dollar began flowing to Sudan after President al-Bashir ended in 2014 his long term alliance with world’s global supporter of terrorism, the Shiite Islamic Republic of Iran.

We noted the folly of the Obama Administration at the end of its eight year term partially lifting long term economic sanctions against the Bashir regime in the face of evidence that Genocide has actually accelerated.

UK Channel 4 Documentary Team, Phil Cox and Daoud Hari, Chad Dafuri Refugee Camp, December 2016. Source:  The Guardian

UK Channel 4 Documentary of Journalists Kidnapping, Imprisonment and Torture in Sudan Police State

You can write about this, but only video documentaries have the power to move concerned governments and activists to undertake take actions to end Jihad Genocide in Sudan.  Such is the case of a recent episode involving UK freelance journalist/documentarian Phil Cox and his US Sudanese émigré producer, Daoud  Hari, who had last reported on the plight of the Darfuri people in 2005. Cox  induced Hari, who was a cab driver in Brooklyn, New York to return with him as producer/translator to pursue reports of the use of  chemical weapons by the Bashir regime in the Darfur mountain redoubt of Jebel Marra.  They  crossed over into  Darfur illegally  in December 2016 from neighboring Chad after visiting a Dafuri refugee camp where they  connected with Sudanese Liberation Army fighters as security and guides.  They were tracked by Sudanese helicopters using  signals from their cell phone sim cards, and eventually, kidnapped  by Janjaweed Rapid Support Force (RSF) militia, chained and kept for four days in the desert while the  kidnapped while they negotiated  a Sudanese  National Intelligence Security Service commander.

Cox  was ultimately blind folded and flown to the capital of Khartoum for imprisonment and torture until he was released under a Presidential Pardon at the end of 70 days. It was during Cox’s imprisonment in the notorious Kober Prison that he met opponents of the Bashir regime; academics, students, businessmen, some of whom were caught using cell text message and  social media. His American Sudanese producer Daoud Hari was initially abandoned by the Janjaweed RSF militia in the desert, allegedly released, but then retaken and like Cox shipped off by air to Kober Prison where he also received the same treatment. Daoud Hari was ultimately released through the intervention of both US and UK governments.

Cox, wrote about the 70 days of their kidnapping, imprisonment and torture in an April 5, 2017 Guardian article  graphically illustrated in a companion UK Channel 4 documentary report released on April 7th.   Read the Guardian report by journalist Cox and view the YouTube video of his and Daoud Hari’s experience inside what can only be termed Sudan’s equivalent of  Iran’s  notorious Evin prison in the police state of Sudan’s al-Bashir Regime.

Note this excerpt from Cox’s  Guardian report of his and Daoud Hari’s experience in Bashir’s police state:

In the early morning of 24 December 2016, my friend Daoud and I lay side by side on a blanket, our legs chained at the ankles, secured with heavy padlocks. The sun beat down on the desert. We pleaded with our captors to be moved to the shade, but they ignored us. It was not how I had imagined spending Christmas Eve.

Sixteen days earlier, Daoud Hari, my local producer and translator, had crossed with me from Chad into Sudan. We had planned to make a film in the war-ravaged Darfur region, where no independent journalist had entered for years. We had come to investigate what was happening on the ground, and to follow up allegations that chemical weapons were being used by the Sudanese government against its own citizens. Instead we had been tracked by the Sudanese military and captured by a local militia. At this point, we had no idea what would happen to us.

It is hard to describe being chained up beneath the desert sun. Your face and hands slowly burn. Your tongue starts to swell and the blood inside your head pounds like a hammer. Our two guards were responsive to us (although they would not give us their names) and when their commander had gone, they were even friendly. Desperate to call London to confirm we were alive, I formulated a plan to persuade our captors to let us use their phone. I had a passport-sized photo of my seven-year-old son, Romeo, in my breast pocket – I called one of the guards over and showed it to him. I let my tears run and explained that I needed to tell my son I was alive. It was Christmas, I pleaded, and he would be all alone.

The man looked at the photograph and patted me on the shoulder – he would try, he said. Daoud suggested that I refuse any water or food to show how miserable I was. After I had turned down food and drink for a whole day, the guards became worried.

The following morning, one of the guards brought sweet tea. Daoud told them I was still refusing to drink. The two guards conferred – then, after a long while, they brought me their satellite phone – on the condition we would not tell their commander. Phone in hand, I realized I could not remember the number of my house in London, or that of Giovanna Stopponi, my producer. But by a stroke of luck, Daoud had his contact list on scraps of paper in a back pocket. He found the right one and we dialed. Giovanna answered the phone but she couldn’t hear me. The handset was falling apart, so I squeezed it together as hard as I could. I could hear Giovanna saying, “Hello? hello?” There was panic in her voice now.

“It’s Phil, we are captured by the Rapid Security Force militia, we are fine, kidnappers are from the Rizeigat tribe, we are 2km from where I last pressed the tracker alarm, we are probably going to be sold to the government.” I breathed out. The information had got through. “Happy Christmas,” I said.


Watch the YouTube video, Kidnapped, held hostage and tortured in Sudanese prison: the Channel 4 team who went through “hell”:

Jerry Gordon is a Senior Editor at the New English Review.

Lt. Gen. Abakar M. Abdallah is Chairman of the Sudan United Movement. He is a 23 year vetrean of the Chadian Army. He is a graduate of the US Army War College, the US Army Intrelligence School, Fort Huachuca, Arizona  and the counterterrorism program of the National Defense University at Fort McNair, Washington, DC.

Deborah Martin is a 35 year Sudan linguist and cultural expert and consultant.

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