Opinion | Iowa City protesters should fight for Sudanese freedom

The military takeover happening in Sudan needs to be protested — the Sudanese people are being denied basic human rights.


Gabby Drees

A protester speaks over a microphone during a protest against a military coup in Sudan on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Around 100 people came and showed their support after the first protest earlier that week.

Ally Pronina, Opinions Columnist

Near the end of October, over 100 Sudanese Americans gathered in front of the University of Iowa Old Capitol Building to protest the military coup in Sudan. Iowans, and everyone around the world protesting the military coup, are right to protest for the freedom of the Sudanese people.

The protesters are demanding the regime in Sudan allow peaceful protests. They are requesting restoration of the internet for the Sudanese people and civilian-led government. They are also encouraging our country to expand their response.

The U.S. has cut $700 million in aid to the Sudanese government. Besides the protests going on in Iowa City, Iowa has not responded to the protesters. However, their call for the U.S. to expand their response is a good time for the Hawkeye state to do so.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has agreed to take in Afghanistan refugees who were fleeing their country in August. Now is a good time for Reynolds to decide whether or not to take in Sudanese refugees who are fleeing Sudan for freedom. If Reynolds announced she was going to allow Iowa to take in Sudanese refugees, I would support the decision.

Refugees also support the country they come to. As The Daily Iowan’s editorial board previously noted, refugees bring money into the local economies where they live, and migrants and refugees are more entrepreneurial on average than the rest of the population.

We can all have sympathy and compassion for the Sudanese people after being educated about what is going on in their country.

Sudan has had a nearly three-year transition to democracy after the removal of President Omar al-Bashir due to a failing economy, political violence, and continued protests for justice and freedom. In October 2021, the Sudanese military deposed the transitional government in a coup and took over. They have detained Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. Along with the removal of the state governors, several articles of the constitution are being suspended.

The coup has led to widespread protests, and the Sudanese military is using excessive force to silence them. They have fired on protesters indiscriminately, demanding that hospitals treating the wounded hand them over. Amnesty International has confirmed one protester was shot as he returned home from a sit-in.

The Sudanese military has also cut off access to the internet. In Sudan, people can’t communicate to their loved ones in other countries about what is going on or even read the news to find out what is going on in their own country.

The military is stripping the Sudanese people of all their basic human rights. The Sudanese people are being denied the basic constitutional rights we take for granted in the U.S., like freedom of assembly.

The military is taking over the Sudanese people and denying them basic human rights. The ones protesting in Iowa City are right to fight for the freedom of the Sudanese people.


Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.