News from Khartoum
Sudanese Journalists Network condemns security crackdown on press, journalists
The Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN) issued a statement condemning the campaign led by the Sudanese security and intelligence services against the press and journalists, describing it as frantic campaign.
The network said in its statement: “The security forces arrested 28 male and female journalists last Monday while they were about to participate in a vigil campaign outside the headquarters of the Department of Information of the National Security and Intelligence Services in Al Mek Nimir Street to present a memorandum to protest the security censorship, prohibition of printing and the repeated confiscation of Al Jareeda newspaper. The Network added that security apparatus banned the Baath newspaper last Monday and exercised pre-publication censorship by demanding the editorial board of the newspaper to remove news and columns about demonstrations. Al Youm Al Taali newspaper was also confiscated on 12 January against the backdrop of its coverage of demonstration in Omdurman last Wednesday. The Network denounced the arrest and beating of journalists Mr. Mohammed Abdel Majid, Mr. Mohammed Salman, Ms. Aisha al-Samani and Yousuf al-Jalal while covering a naval parade yesterday Sunday, but were later released.
The Network, in its statement published by the Sudanile electronic newspaper, expressed rejection of the behavior of the security that resulted in stopping journalist Ms. Suhair Abdul Rahim of the Al Intihaha newspaper from writing for a week, for the second time since the outbreak of the protests; she was earlier suspended for three days. Journalist Mr. Mohamed Abdel Majid was also prohibited from writing in the newspapers of “Al-Intibah” and “Qawn” two weeks ago against the backdrop of articles critical of the regime.
According to the Network, some of its members are still in detention, such as Mr. Aqeel Ahmed Naem, Mr. Kamal Karrar, Mr. Qureshi Awad, Mr. Ismail Bilal of Shamaliya TV Channel and Mr. Omer Juma.
It is to be noted that the Network of Sudanese Journalists is a body parallel to the pro-government Sudanese Journalists’ Union. The network is currently the defender of freedom of press and journalists in Sudan and is participating through its membership in the popular protest across the country.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides for the freedom of opinion and expression and Article 19 (1) of the Sudanese Constitution states:” every citizen shall have an unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals”.