Sudan: Journalists Step-Up Press Freedom Protests

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir

Khartoum — The Sudanese Journalists' Network carried out a protest march in central Khartoum to demand freedom of the press on Monday, in the run-up to a large protest planned next week.

The march took place in El Soug El Arabi. The majority of protest marches and demonstrations against the Sudanese regime has been organised by parties of the Declaration of Freedom and Change or the Sudanese Professionals' Association starting January this year. The march on Monday was the first one this year to be an unannounced demonstration organised outside of this schedule.

In a statement after the march, the Sudanese Journalists' Network said the march was a test and a development in peaceful resistance, marches and vigils called for by the Sudanese Professionals' Association since the start of the protests.

"The network calls on all journalists and means of media to prepare themselves for the days leading up to the struggle and the diversity [...] to reach the millions expected in the upcoming April 6 march."

The signatories of the Declaration of Freedom and Change and the Sudanese Professionals Association have called for a nationwide demonstration on Saturday next week, April 6, to demand the Sudanese regime to step-down.

Today's protests

On Tuesday, the capital Khartoum and Sudanese states expect to witness marches of the universities and institutes and protest vigils of professionals and private companies.

And for Thursday, the opposition and civil society parties that signed the Declaration of Freedom and Change announced the holding of 'salvation marches' in Khartoum and in the state capitals Wad Madani, Kassala, Sennar, El Obeid and En Nahud, to demand the immediate overthrowing of president Omar Al Bashir and his regime.

The Sudanese Journalists' Network said in a statement last month that "more than 90 journalists have been detained since the popular demonstrations erupted in mid-December last year". Ten journalists have been prosecuted in the Emergency Courts that have been established under the State of Emergency in Sudan.

Among them is Osman Mirghani, the editor-in-chief of El Tayyar daily newspaper, who has been held by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) since February 22, when he was detained shortly after being interviewed on the Sky News Arabia network, where he discussed the ongoing protests in Sudan and said they could prompt Al Bashir's removal from office.

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