The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Thousands of boys chained, tortured in Sudan Islamic schools, investigation reveals Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Thousands of boys chained, tortured in Sudan Islamic schools, investigation reveals

The Schools that Chain Boys was aired on BBC Arabic [Screenshot/BBC Arabic]

Date of publication: 19 October, 2020

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Boys as young as five-years-old have been found chained and tortured at Islamic schools in Sudan, a new BBC investigation reveals.
Shocking levels of child abuse have been exposed in Islamic schools across Sudan in a new BBC investigation.

Boys as young as five-years-old have been found chained and tortured by religious leaders at Islamic schools in Sudan, the BBC News Arabic’s ‘The Schools that Chain Boys’ revealed.

Undercover BBC Arabic reporter Fateh al-Rahman al-Hamdani spent some 18 months visiting some of the 30,000 Islamic schools, known locally as ‘khalwas’, that exist across the country.

He found young boys shackled, chained and beaten and confirmed squalid living conditions where sick children were left without medical assistance.

In some cases, boys were left fighting for their lives due to the severity of the beating, the documentary showed.

Mohamed Nader and Ismail, both of which feature on the investigative piece, say they witnessed young boys being raped by older student inside the Islamic schools.

“The worst thing about the khalwa is the rape. They make you go against your will,” Mohamed said. 

Speaking to the BBC journalist, Mohamed’s mother said hopes for justice had been raised with the ousting of Omar al Bashir’s Islamist government. “Must we sacrifice our children to honour the religious men?”, she asks in the BBC documentary.   

Religious leaders, or sheikhs, that were confronted by the undercover journalist admitted it was wrong to impassion the children but said beating and shackling were “packed with benefits”.

“Most khalwas use chaining, not just me,” one sheikh said.

The Minister of Religious Affairs told BBC News Arabic that authorities are assessing the state of khalwas across the country but noted it is impossible to “solve a problem caused by 30 years of the old regime overnight.” 

The shocking accounts come as part of the BBC’s months-long probe into the issue, which was broadcast on on BBC News Arabic TV on Monday.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More