They call for full diplomatic pressure towards peace, protection and justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CITIES NATIONWIDE—February 19, 2010—Activists nationwide call for the withholding of US support for illegitimate Sudanese elections, currently scheduled for April 11, 2010. The Sudan Sham Elections 2010 campaign begins February 20th. For the 50 days leading up to the Sudanese elections, ordinary citizens in every state are taking targeted and effective action to ensure the US government will not legitimize sham elections in Sudan. Although the Obama administration came out with strong words when presenting its Sudan policy in October 2009, there has been no visible positive change on the ground.
The fifty states will tag-team, each participating in a day of action, advocating for a new direction in US policy. Actions will be specific for each state, some focusing on contacting their own legislators, others targeting the State Department and the Obama administration at different levels, and other doing multiple actions, including online advocacy and live events.
“How can it make sense,” asks Gabriel Stauring, Director of Stop Genocide Now, a group that seeks to change the way the world responds to genocide. “You have an indicted war criminal, Omar al-Bashir, as the candidate. The candidate and current president of Sudan, a post he attained through military coup, and his government is responsible for millions of deaths across Sudan. They control the elections, and they continue to terrorize Sudanese citizens in the days leading up to this sham. We, as Americans, cannot legitimize al-Bashir in any way.”
Tzivia Schwartz Getzug, Executive Director from Jewish World Watch, states, “Sudanese elections, currently scheduled for April 2010, will be anything but free and fair. The electoral reforms laid out by Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement – necessary for a credible election – have been delayed, obstructed and outright violated by the Sudanese government. With instability continuing in Darfur and violence mounting in the South, fraudulent elections in April could be a dangerous flashpoint for Sudan. The US should not legitimize non-credible elections in Sudan.”
“The elections will not be fair and free. They will be a sham,” states Mohamed Suleiman, a Darfuri leader living in the US. With many family members and friends living in displacement and refugee camps, Suleiman supports the campaign. “Omar al-Bashir took control of Sudan 20 years ago by military coup and has brutally ruled the country since. There is no freedom of movement, let alone freedom of expression or freedom to organize. Darfur is a war torn region where many previously vibrant and bustling villages now lay in ashes.”
A.J. Fay, an activist and student leader in Boise, Idaho, invites other US citizens to join Sudan Sham Elections 2010. “Sudan is on the brink,” he says. “We can see violence that rivals only Sudan’s own brutal past. As citizens of the world, we must stand with others in danger. Our own government must stand on the side of principle and press for peace in Sudan, now.”
For information on how to participate, visit www.sudansham2010.org or firstname.lastname@example.org