SUDAN: The Black Hole

Thomas Macaulay and a host of lesser chroniclers have left one terrible night in India indelibly stamped upon the world's memory. It was that night in June 1756, when 123 prisoners, many of them British soldiers, died of suffocation in "the black hole of Calcutta," a lockup in Fort William, 18 ft. long by 15ft. wide—an outrage for which the Nawab Sirajud-daula was later put to death by Clive of India.

Last week the horror of the Black Hole was re-enacted in the newly independent Sudan when some 300 rioting Sudanese farmers on strike at...