I’m from Ad-Damazin (Blue Nile, Sudan). I’m 7470 km away from my family. This distance is stretched by the difficulties of life here in Amsterdam. Let me explain some of the very hard realities we deal with as Sudanese undocumented refugees in Holland.
The Hague has a Sudan embassy. Know why we don’t protest there every week to be in solidarity with protests in Sudan? Because embassy people threaten us. They say they’ll hurt or kill our families in Sudan if we don’t stop. They know undocumented people don’t go to the police.
If we go to the police, there is a risk we will be arrested. Why? Because we are illegalized. When we go to the Dutch police to say the people of our embassy threaten us, they can arrest us and take us to asylum prison. Amnesty International wrote about Dutch refugee prisons before.
So even in Holland we have no protection against the regime of Sudan. Even in Holland our government terrorizes us. An embassy represents its government. Before we had people like Ahmed Yusif in our embassy in The Hague. Remember #SudanVier #SudanVijf?
About Ahmed Yusif: someone from #SudanVier went to the embassy a few months before they were put in prison. There he met with Ahmed Yusif. Yusif was the consul. Yusif said the refugees bring shame upon Sudan and he will fight to punish us. Ahmed Yusif threatened many of us! He’s a terrorist.
When Al Bashir was pushed out, some people in the embassy were replaced. An embassy represents the people who rule the country. Now, Sudan is ruled by Burhan and Hemedti. People who kill kids, people who kill students. Hemedti was a top figure in the Darfur genocide.
Who you think Burhan and Hemedti send to the Sudanese embassy in The Hague? When we as undocumented refugees go to the police about threats by our embassy, the police can arrest us for not having documents. They send us to prison. Sudanese in prison are often asked to go to our embassy. They call this a “presentation”. During a presentation someone from the embassy confirms or denies that you are Sudanese. But, our embassy are liars. Sometimes they lie and say someone isn’t from a region when they know we are. And they threaten our families.
I hope organizations like Amnesty or VluchtelingenWerk and media like Radio Dabanga, One World or NRC will soon have time to write about how the Sudanese embassy in The Hague terrorizes undocumented Sudanese refugees in Holland. Our embassy has a long history of this.
We can’t go to the police when we’re in danger. When we are sick, many medical institutions make us feel like a burden. Why? Because we don’t have insurance and not much money. Sickness doesn’t care about money! Some of us have physical problems, some psychological, some both.
Some doctors are nice and serious. Many others lost their humanity in the paperwork. They underestimate how stress and trauma attack our bodies. They think drinking lots of water, taking paracetamol or going to the fitness solves everything. Again: no protection.
Many of us are homeless. A few of us live in squatted buildings, some live in shelters. For many of the shelters you have to sign a contract. This document says: “If I stay here, I promise I will do my best to return to my country.” Why this condition?!
We are chased. People see refugees as a burden. Even for many activists we are not on the agenda. How to not break? And people think we face all this because we want to “steal your jobs” and “steal your women”? Because we like stroopwafels and liquorice? Don’t flatter yourself.
Again: we don’t need your pity. You don’t need to “adopt” or “save” us. What we need is a liberation movement that doesn’t demand us to be grateful or excellent all the time. We need activists to connect our struggles and fight for us even when we’re too tired to ‘perform’.
I hope more people join our protests at the Sudanese embassy in The Hague and outside of the refugee prisons. Twitter is used in so many revolutions. Maybe it also changes the asylum policy that labeled Sudan “safe to send refugees back to”!
(This article appeared on as a thread on Twitter first)