John Avlon Independent Nation

10.16.12

Video Captures Village Burning, Torture In Sudan

The human rights abuses in Sudan continue—and a harrowing new video captures the attack on a Nuba Mountain village in real time.

Video screenshot

The Satellite Sentinel Project, working with the Sudanese journalist group Nuba Reports, brought the video to an international audience this morning, providing indelible evidence of the kind that rarely exists when villages are burnt and looted. This time, though, the camera phone of one of the attackers—members of the Sudanese Central Reserve Police—captured the bloodlust. The 18-year old high school student named Niam who is captured and then tortured was subsequently interviewed on camera about his ordeal, after a $30 ransom was paid.

This is a video that cuts through all the abstractions and obfuscations. In the United States, news organizations are focused on the second presidential debate tonight—but that event should not keep this documentation of an attack in real time from reaching a wider audience. In the past, the absence of cameras meant this violence could be ignored. Now, we have evidence that demands attention and accountability.