21 June 2018

Sudan: Arab Info Network Condemns Harassment of Journalists in Sudan

Cairo — The Cairo-based Arab Network for Crisis Information has issued a statement condemning the suspension of the correspondent of the Middle East newspaper in Khartoum and deplores the authorisation of the Electronic Crimes Law, which restricts freedom of expression.

The Arab Network for Crisis Information expresses its deep concern at the sharp deterioration and deterioration of press freedom, freedom of opinion and expression and the insistence of the Sudanese authorities on the continued confiscation of newspapers after the publication of journalists and their targeting and repression by summoning them and investigating and threatening to silence their mouths and prevent free opinions.

"In a dangerous and unfortunate escalation, Ahmed Younis, a correspondent for the Middle East newspaper, was prevented from writing. His license was withdrawn and this card issued by the foreign media of the Sudanese Security and Intelligence Service was withdrawn.

"On the eve of Eid al Fitr, twice a month, he has been and subjected to lengthy interrogations, the most recent of which threatened to deprive him of his activity as a journalist. This decision is less than justice and injustice for more than two decades.

"The journalist Shamil al-Nur was subjected to a three-day investigation last week for writing an opinion paper. She was subjected to psychological torture and was treated in an inappropriate and insulting manner by one of the officers," the statement says.

Press freedom watchdog

International press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) issued a statement on June 14 condemning "another offensive against critical journalists and media outlets by Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS)".

The statement issued by RSF headquarters in Paris, France, refers to the seizure by the NISS in the past week of entire issues of three privately-owned dailies and interrogated two journalists for covering sensitive issues.

"The NISS must stop operating as an 'editorial police' that censors journalists and systematically suppresses any critical publication, listing taboo subjects as it pleases," said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF's Africa desk. "The survival of a free press in Sudan is at stake."

In February, RSF condemned a wave of arrests of journalists and confiscations of newspaper issues by the NISS that had begun the previous month. Issues of the Al-Jareeda and Al-Watan dailies were also seized without reason on 5 and 6 May.

Sudan is ranked 174th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index.


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