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Journalists: Charter of Professional Ethics restrictive

The signing of the press Charter of Professional Ethics, between representatives of journalists and government, has angered journalists because the Charter restricts freedom of press and journalists.

The Charter, signed in the Parliament premises on Thursday early last November, restricts freedom of journalists and obligates them to carry out “self-censorship”.

Signatories to the Charter said the document would protect journalists and press from confiscations and detentions by the security authorities.

Meanwhile, NISS Director Salah Gosh, during the signing ceremony of the Charter threatened to impose stringent penalties if redlines are crossed, to protect national security.

In the same vein, the chairman of the Association of Sudanese Journalists, Mr. Al Sadiq Al Rizeigi, has stressed that compliance with the Charter would keep journalists on the safe side; saying press has no value in the absence of a professional charter of ethics. He said the Charter came as a culmination of series meetings between journalists and government intended to remove restrictions and measures against press and journalists.

Over the past period, the press has been subjected to a range of harassments and confiscations by the security, with the Network of Sudanese Journalists, an unofficial defender of journalists, calling for freedoms, halt of confiscations and detentions of journalists.

Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides: Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference, everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

Source; Aljazeera