Sudan: Al Jazeera Media Network to Return to Sudan

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(file photo)

Doha — Al Jazeera has been allowed to reopen its office in Khartoum, the Qatar-based media network announced on Friday.

The Transitional Military Council (TMC) that ousted President Omar Al Bashir in a coup on April 11, ordered the closure of the Qatar-based media network in end May for an indefinite period.

When tensions rose in the country because of increased pressure by the Sudanese on the ruling junta to cede power, the authorities launched a crackdown on the media.

On May 30, a security force stormed the office of Al Jazeera. The credentials of its journalists were revoked and their tools confiscated. Offices of other international media companies were extensively searched but allowed to continue.

Al Jazeera carried daily broadcasts of debates and other action programmes at the sit-in Khartoum. It also covered press conferences of the opposition.

The Sudanese Journalists Network called the shut-down "a new setback to public liberties and the gains of the revolution".

The journalists also denounced the military junta ban on broadcasts on Sudan TV of activities organised by the Forces for Freedom and Change at the sit-in in front of the Ministry of Defence in Khartoum. A number of journalists were not allowed to prepare and present programmes handling the general strike in the country on 27 and 28 May.

During the regime of Al Bashir, several international media outlets were not allowed to operate in Sudan. The Sudanese media were systematically suppressed. This grew even worse after the start of the uprising in December last year. In the Reporters without Borders 2018 World Press Freedom Index, Sudan ranked 174th out of 180 countries.

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