Sudanese journalists demonstrated in Khartoum on Tuesday against the assault on journalist Ali El Dali on Monday evening, that has also been condemned “reminiscent of the former regime” by the Ministry of Information and Culture. The Military Intelligence command has initiated an enquiry into the incident, and a criminal report has been filed with police at Khartoum North. El Dali is recovering in hospital after being beaten senseless.
The journalists’ demonstration moved from the offices of the National Press and Publications Council to the Council of Ministers. The participants demanded the restructuring of all military forces and security agencies, the protection of journalists and the public from abuses. The journalists also announced a three-day boycott of all activities, particularly regarding news on the armed forces, spokesperson Amru Shaaban, announced during the demonstration.
The protestors demanded that the transitional government assume its responsibility in reforming the military institutions and the various statutory agencies, as well as abiding by the international treaties and covenants signed by Sudan related to human rights and the protection of individuals.
The Military Intelligence Authority announced the initiation of an investigation into the attack “following a quarrel between an individual and some civilians”. In a press statement the Authority reported that the director of the Military Security Department visited the journalist in hospital to check on him. The statement asserts that “the assault represents only those responsible, and should be seen as action by individuals.”
The Ministry of Information and Culture condemned the attack on the journalist and his stance as “unacceptable, as it brings to mind the practices of the former regime”.
The Ministry confirmed that it will work with various parties in the security and police agencies, journalists’ and media organisations, to prevent its recurrence in the future.
The ministry praised the cohesion of the press and media community and its solidarity with El Dali. The ministry said that it will transfer the case file to the prosecutor. Adding that the ministry is to work on preparing a law to protect journalists to prevent such practices.
The Sudanese Human Rights Commission condemned the attack on El Dali, and welcomed the initial measures taken by the Military Intelligence Authority to arrest the persons suspected of involvement in the attack, saying that and looks forward to bringing the perpetrators to trial without delay.
The Commission stressed the need to take serious legislative and administrative measures, procedures and public policies that are compatible with Sudan’s obligations in the field of human rights.