Renowned Sudanese geneticist behind bars for opposing regime

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Linda NordlingMar. 11, 2019 , 2:20 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Renowned Sudanese geneticist behind bars for opposing regime A leading Sudanese geneticist has been imprisoned for speaking out against the country’s repressive regime. Muntaser Ibrahim, who heads the University of Khartoum’s Institute of Endemic Diseases, was arrested on 21 February in Khartoum and has been detained ever since. His friends and family do not know his location. They say Ibrahim suffers from a heart condition that requires specialist care.Ibrahim’s colleagues and students issued a statement calling for his release on Friday. “It is deplorable that a scholar such as Professor Ibrahim remains in prison, rather than classroom and research centres,” the text reads.Ibrahim took part in peaceful antiregime protests in recent months, according to the statement; he was arrested twice in early January but released shortly after both times. The third and final arrest came as Ibrahim planned to deliver suggestions for national reform drawn up by him and other University of Khartoum lecturers to Sudan’s president, Omar Al-Bashir. “Professor Ibrahim and his colleagues genuinely believed that their initiative could provide a satisfactory way out of the crisis, but the dictatorial authority saw otherwise, hence his repeated incarceration,” reads the statement, which is unsigned. Emailcenter_img Muntaser Ibrahim World Academy of Sciences Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Ibrahim is one of Sudan’s most distinguished living scholars. He studies the genetics of malaria, cancer, and other diseases, as well as genomic diversity in Sudan, and has contributed to international studies investigating human genetic variation in Africa. He is a founding member of the Sudanese National Academy of Science (SNAS) in Khartoum and a member of the World Academy of Sciences in Trieste, Italy.“[Ibrahim] is a leading scientist of genetics, a supervisor of many students, and a member of several scientific associations in country and abroad,” says parasitologist and SNAS member Suad Sulaiman. “His imprisonment will deprive science and research of his contributions.”Ibrahim’s arrest is bad for the morale of scientists living in Sudan, adds Dia-Eldin Ahmed Elnaiem, a Sudanese parasitologist based at the University of Maryland in Princess Anne. “All he did was a simple objection to human rights abuse and a peaceful call for democratic change in the country.” It’s also discouraging scientists who want to work on Sudanese problems, says Elnaiem, who regularly returns to his homeland to do fieldwork on leishmaniasis, a parasitic infection transmitted by sandflies.The statement urges international scientists to rally behind their campaign to release Ibrahim.Sarah Tishkoff, a geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania who has published papers with Ibrahim, says she is “appalled” at the news. “He is a top scientist in the country” as well as “a kind and gentle person who does not deserve this treatment,” Tishkoff wrote in an email. “I hope that the leaders in the Sudan will recognize his important contributions to their country and will release him.”The International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), also headquartered in Trieste, says Ibrahim has been “highly instrumental and active in ensuring our success in Africa” while serving on the center’s council of scientific advisers from 2004 to 2013. “The ICGEB believes that science has no border or political color and that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right.”In mid-December 2018, the cost of living rose abruptly in Sudan, with the price of bread tripling, among other things. Youth, women, and children have taken to the streets demanding change, often facing hard-handed retaliation by the government of Al-Bashir, who came to power in a military coup in 1989. Some protesters have died.last_img read more