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Journalist Solidarity After Sudanese Parliament Banned A Journalist

In light of the banning of journalist Hiba Ebied from performing her duties in the Parliament as well as the letter to her newspaper requesting her to be replaced by another journalist, Parliament’s Sudanese newspapers’ correspondents submitted a protest memo to the Parliament President Prof. Ebraheem Ahmed Omer and another protest memo to the President of Sudanese Journalists Union Al-Sadig Al-Rizeigi. Hiba has written a report in which she said that the Parliament purchased monitors worth 9 million pounds to be used for monitoring Parliament members inside the parliament as well as presenting the ministries reports; she also mentioned in her report that some employees inside the parliament refused the matter and thought improving their situation was a better priority.

After her report, the Parliament sent a letter to the security officials in the reception of the Parliament prohibiting Hiba from entering. Moreover, they requested Al-Entibaha newspaper to replace her with another correspondent; Al-Entibaha cooperated and did so. Newspapers’ correspondents supported their colleague and announced boycotting the coverage of the activities of the Parliament for the period of 2 days as protest to Hiba’s prohibition. Moreover, according to the website of …, the Female Sudanese Journalists Entity considered what had happened to their colleague as discrimination against female journalists; they also expressed how sorry they felt for the stance of Al-Entibaha editing management which accepted the Parliament’s request of replacing Hiba.

The Female Journalists Entity also urged the Parliament and Al-Entibaha to apologise to Hiba and bring her back as a Parliament correspondent. A statement issued by the Parliament’s newspapers’ correspondents described the acts of the management of the Parliament as being systematic and aimed at limiting the role of journalists in publishing what happens inside the Parliament to the public. The statement also mentioned that Article (1/34) of the 2015 Parliament Regulation, amendment of 2017, states that the Parliament meetings must be held publicly, members of the public should be allowed to attend and it shall also be broadcasted via public broadcasting means unless the President of the Parliament or the attendees decide otherwise based on a request made by the President of the Republic of the Sudan or any of the ministers, or based on procedural proposal made by any member of the Parliament conveying that the general good dictates the matters be discussed secretly.

The Sudanese Parliament, in its procedures, disregards Article (19) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which Sudan approved: “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.”

Also, the Sudanese Constitution which was approved by the Parliament stated in Article 39-(1) that: “Every citizen shall have an unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception of information, publication and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals as determined by law. The state shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society. All media shall abide by professional ethics, shall retain from inciting religious, ethnic, racial or cultural hatred and shall not agitate for violence or war.”

Source: Sudanjem