Social justice and democracy - these are the issues Ibrahim Izzeldeen has dedicated his life to. He supports refugees in Germany in their struggle for their rights and fights with the civil society movement against the military dictatorship in his country of origin, Sudan. "Both movements are connected," says Ibrahim. "Both are about justice".
Ibrahim, born in 1978, came to Germany as a political refugee at the end of 2017. In Sudan, he had already joined the peaceful and non-violent resistance against the military dictator Omar al-Bashir as a pupil and student. "After the Sudanese uprising in September 2013, in which the regime killed 200 demonstrators in less than three days, I set up resistance committees in the neighbourhoods together with comrades. This democratic network of resistance committees across the country continues to carry out important civil disobedience against the government today."
Ibrahim was subjected to arrests, death threats and political persecution due to his commitment and fled to Germany at the end of 2017. He arrived at an initial reception centre in Bramsche, Lower Saxony, and then at a home near Osnabrück. "From my first days in Germany as an asylum seeker, I was confronted with problems that most immigrants and refugees from southern countries experience: Restrictions on personal freedoms, everyday racism, the constant threat of deportation. This is what we have been fighting against together".
To stop the nightly deportations, the refugees in the home near Osnabrück, for example, started the action "Whistle of Hope". "There was always someone keeping watch at night," reports Ibrahim. "When the police arrived, he would blow his whistle and all the people would come out of their rooms and block the entrance. This way the police could not find the people they wanted to deport. That worked out very well."
Ibrahim is now recognised as a political refugee and lives in Berlin. The trained filmmaker continues to support the movement of refugees in Germany, currently with media work on the issue of the right to stay. He is also involved in the opposition movement in Sudan. There, the military regime has just announced that it will relinquish power. But Ibrahim thinks the whole thing is a diversionary tactic: "The military is still pulling the strings in the background. Every week, thousands of people in Karthum and other towns take to the streets against the regime. From Germany, he supports the democracy movement with films, texts and media work.
Ibrahim is part of the group "Sudan Uprising Germany", which has already been supported by the Bewegungsstiftung. "Sudan Uprising was founded by Sudanese and Sudanese-German activists and supports civil society resistance against the military regime in Sudan. "We organise demonstrations and protests, lobby, network and write petitions and political speeches," says Ibrahim. This also involves informing the German public about how Germany and the EU support the military regime in Sudan.
The Janjaweed militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in Sudan plays an important role in this. The RSF forces had become part of the government after the peaceful revolution in Sudan in 2019, although they are responsible for genocide and human rights violations. This political agreement also came about through pressure from Germany and the EU. The RSF is responsible for border control in Sudan, acts ruthlessly against migrants and is financed, among other things, by money paid to Sudan by the EU to stop migrants on their way to Europe. "Germany must finally stop its complicity with the Janjaweed militias," Ibrahim demands. He supports the Safe Road Initiative in the Horn of Africa, which assists people fleeing their homes by providing them with information about the Janjaweed militias, lobbying and media work, networking, and other activities.
Lobbying and media work, networking, events, protests - Ibrahim's working days are well filled. By joining the Movement Workers Programme, he hopes to receive financial support from people who care about his work. Ibrahim is also looking forward to exchange and networking: "I would like to share my experiences with other movement workers, learn about their solutions and how they start campaigns and raise issues on the agenda." Working with others is a source of strength for him. "It gives me hope when I see more and more people joining our resistance."
Here is a PDF with a brief description (in German) of Ibrahim's involvement. Feel free to share it with others who are interested.
If you have any questions, just send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.