Khartoum — On Thursday evening, a joint security force raided the office of the Qatari Al Jazeera satellite TV channel in Khartoum and closed it for an indefinite period. Offices of other channels were extensively searched but allowed to continue.
Al Jazeera tweeted on Thursday that the media credentials of its journalists were revoked and their tools confiscated.
Sudanese journalists strongly condemned the closure of Al Jazeera channel, on orders of the Transitional Military Council (TMC).
In a statement on Friday, the Sudanese Journalists Network called the shut-down carried out by a mixed team of Military Intelligence, the Intelligence and Security Service, and External Information Secretariat agents on Thursday evening as "a new setback to public liberties and the gains of the revolution".
The Committee for the Restoration of the Sudanese Journalists Union described the closure of Al Jazeera channel as "illegal and a violation of international conventions on freedom of information and expression".
The journalists also denounced the military junta ban on broadcasts on Sudan TV of activities organised by the Alliance of Freedom and Change at the sit-in in Khartoum. A number of journalists were not allowed to prepare and present programmes handling the strike on 27 and 28 May.
Al Jazeera carried daily broadcasts of debates and other action programmes organised at the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum. The Qatari TV channel also covered press conferences of the opposition.
On Wednesday, the second day of the general strike in the country, launched to pressure the TMC to cede power to a civilian-led government, the offices of other international channels were searched as well.
Journalists reported to this station from Khartoum that in the early hours of Wednesday morning, a security force stormed the office of the London-based Al Arabi TV channel, and conducted extensive searches for about three hours.
They confiscated two cameras, live broadcasting devices, sound equipment, and computers according to office workers.
Other channels were also subjected to searches and confiscation. Some of them managed to get their equipment returned.
Radio Dabanga reported earlier that a military force raided the building of Ramtan News Agency in Khartoum on Wednesday. Three staff members were detained.
The agency produces news and news reports for various satellite channels..
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