The members of the Sudan Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the European Union, and Canada, have issued a joint statement expressing concern at the current spate of detentions and press curbs in Sudan.
The statement reads that the countries are “concerned about the detention, apparently without charge, of a number of political leaders either in anticipation of protests or having protested government economic moves.
“We are also aware of Sudanese authorities seizing newspapers and engaging in other forms of censorship, allegedly for reporting on expression of political views.
“The arrest of political leaders for non-violent dissent risks hindering efforts for an inclusive National Dialogue that involves all the relevant political forces in Sudan in line with the African Union Roadmap, which we all support,” the statement continues.
It further calls on the Sudanese authorities “to allow the people to exercise their right to freedom of expression. At the same time, we urge those exercising their fundamental rights to express their opinions peacefully.”
Just this morning, the entire print run of El Jareeda newspaper was seized. Managing Editor Sheikh Ahmed told Radio Dabanga that no reasons were for the confiscation.
He noted that this is the second time the paper has been confiscated this week.
He said the confiscation is intended to causing damage and obstruct the work of the newspaper and that he called “an expropriation of the rights of citizens to know what is going on in their own country”.
21 Sudanese newspapers have been seized during the last ten days, in conjunction with the call for civil disobedience.
As previously reported by Radio Dabanga, the print-run of El Midan newspaper was seized again yesterday morning, after the newspaper was seized several times since last week. Several newspapers that covered the civil disobedience actions in Khartoum last week were gagged, sometimes for days in a row.
Last Wednesday, a number of newsrooms and reporters went on strike against the repeated confiscation of newspapers that covered the civil disobedience actions that lasted three days. The Sudanese Journalists' Network called for the strike.
Approximately 40 people have been detained since the Sudanese government announced the liberalisation of the fuel market and other austerity measures one month ago, according to the Sudan Appeal opposition alliance.