News from Khartoum
Arab Network condemns fierce attack on journalists
The Arab Network for Crises Information has condemned violations by the Sudanese authorities against freedom of opinion and expression.
The Network in a statement received by Al Rakoba, confirmed the press freedoms were being subjected to fierce and escalating attacks by the security services which impose many restrictions to cripple full performance.
The statement criticized the government’s clear violation of the bill of civil and political rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as its wriggling out from and non-compliance with the international conventions it has signed and ratified, by way of unprecedented repression and suppression of journalists. The Network confirmed that its findings raise alarm and concern and paint a pessimistic picture for the future of press freedoms and freedom of opinion and expression, due to increasing and continued violations of the security. The Network denounced the prevention by the Protocol of the Republican Palace in Khartoum, of journalist Ms. Nidal Ajeeb, from entering the palace and carrying out her press duties under the pretext that she was “wearing indecent dress”, in an attempt to restrict her freedom and curtail her personal liberty in determining and selecting the dress that suits her, a matter that represents a violation of her rights and dignity by the highest sovereign institution in the country. The Network also criticized the suspension by the security of “Al Midan Al Sharqi programme” telecasted by Omdurman TV Channel and prevented the presenter of the program, Abdul Bagi Al Zafir, from appearing in any media outlet. He was also prevented from writing and his daily column “Zawiyat” in Al Sayha newspaper was suspended. The matter did not end there, he was also fired from the University of Khartoum Radio, where he was serving as Director General, all this because of his criticism of reelection of the Sudanese President for a seventh term in 2020. In addition, journalist Mr. Abdul Gadir Balkash has received death threat from a prominent member of the ruling National Congress Party in the Sudan, against the backdrop of an article criticizing the appointment of people from outside the state in leading positions in the Government of the Red Sea State, in an abuse of membership of the party and acting as if he is above the law, terrorizing journalists and confiscating their right to express their views and denying them freedom of writing.
The Network expressed its deep concern about the future of press freedom, freedom of opinion, expression and publication, at a time when the authorities prepared a new law for the press and publications which is at the stage of approval, considered the most repressive of all, in addition to the cybercrime law, which put journalists under close monitoring including their own pages on social media, and restrict the freedom of expression of citizens.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.