As the crisis in Sudan grows increasingly dangerous and efforts have been made to silence Sudanese people in the midst of the chaos, updates on the government crackdown are being shared by an unlikely source: Social media influencers.
On Thursday, Shahd Khidir, a Sudanese influencer and blogger who mainly shares beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content, went “off-brand” to raise awareness to her nearly 64,000 Instagram followers about the dire situation in Sudan. Khidir, who is based in New York City, posted a photograph of herself crying at her desk along with a heartbreaking story about her friend, who she learned had recently been murdered in Sudan.
“I cannot hold this in anymore. I am at my office crying because I have so many emotions in me and I feel horrible. There’s a massacre happening in my country Sudan’s and a media blackout and internet censorship for four consecutive days.” Khidir wrote.
Earlier this month, extreme acts of violence broke outbetween the Sudanese Military and pro-democracy protesters in favor of civilian rule. After Sudan’s president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, was ousted in April after a 30-year rule, many began peacefully protesting military leaders’ plans to hold elections for a new president within the coming months.
As the New York Timesreports, the military recently started retaliating against those protesters with deadly shootings, sexual assaults, and more horrific acts throughout the nation’s capital of Khartoum. The government has also cut internet access in Khartoum, which makes it extremely difficult for those in danger to contact the outside world, and it’s become especially crucial for outsiders to help raise awareness. As of Sunday, the publication reported “just a handful of hotels and some homes are connected to the internet…”
In her post, Khidir went on to share the little information she knew about her friend. “My friend @mattar77 was MURDERED by the Rapid Support Forces. My best friend was in hiding on June 2 and that’s the last time I spoke to him. He was missing for 4 days and when I got in touch with him he said: ‘I was caught, beaten and abused and humiliated and arrested and had my phone confiscated from me. I am injured currently.’ And all I could do this post this,” she wrote.