When Dr Alaaeldin Nogod returned home from his hospital shift on May 6, he thought he was safe from the shelling and gunfire that has devastated healthcare facilities in Sudan’s war-torn capital, Khartoum.
But then he checked his phone and saw a smear campaign against him. An anonymous statement had spread online accusing him of being a traitor for treating fighters from the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, which is at war with the Sudanese army.
Nogod told Al Jazeera that he had not treated RSF fighters, but also said that he would help them if they were wounded and arrived at his hospital.
Still, the statement claimed that he was one of three medics aiding the RSF in exchange for a hefty payment. The accusations had gone viral across Sudanese WhatsApp groups, several medics said.
“These threats are targeting doctors who have known political activities or are part of [Sudan’s] pro-democracy movement,” Dr Nogod, 44, told Al Jazeera. “My colleagues have told me not to come to work and to in a safe place.”
Since fighting erupted in Sudan on April 15, army officials and their supporters have smeared and threatened medics for maintaining a neutral stance in the war, according to doctors, rights groups and analysts.
Doctors are also documenting violations – against civilians, medics and medical facilities – without naming the perpetrators. They have adopted the stance in order to not provoke the army or RSF, although both sides have been accused, and have accused each other, of attacking medical facilities and committing human rights abuses since the war began.