Jailed El Jareeda journalists released
Journalists Ashraf Abdelaziz and Hasan Warrag, were released from prison yesterday after El Karama (dignity) campaign collected the money for the fine imposed by Sudan’s Press and Publications Court in Khartoum on Thursday. The judge ordered their release after being held in prison for four days.
The Court in Khartoum on Thursday ordered a total of SDG 34,000 (*$1,870) in fines against El Jareeda newspaper in a case involving corruption in Hasaheisa locality lands in El Gezira state.
The Press and Publications Court sentenced El Jareeda editor-in-chief of Ashraf Abdelaziz and writer Hasan Warrag to a fine of SDG 10,000 ($550) each. The newspaper has also been ordered them each to pay SDG 7,000 ($385) compensation to the complainant Laila Ali, the employee in Hasaheisa locality lands.
The court convicted them despite testimony by a security official and a former executive in favour of the newspaper. Both Abdelaziz and Warrag refused to pay the fine and opted to go to jail.
Journalists said that the fine was paid through the dignity campaign that handed the amount to the press court after which the judge ordered their release.
The Sudanese newspapers are suffering from the security apparatus intervention, sometimes through prior censorship or retroactive punishment by confiscating any newspaper stepping beyond what the authorities call red lines
Filing of cases in accordance with the criminal code or press publications code by government institutions and individuals puts pressure on editors, journalists and writers.
The editor of El Jareeda newspaper was convicted under article 159 of the Criminal Code of 1991, the defamation of character under article 35 of the Press and Publications Act of 2009, this along with being convicted for the responsibility of the editor.
The court also condemned the columnist under articles 159 of the Criminal Code and 24-26 of the Press and Publications Act.
* Based on the official US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)
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