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Journalist assaulted, paper seized in Sudanese capital

August 11 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Journalist Hawa Rahma
Journalist Hawa Rahma

A reporter from El Jareeda newspaper was assaulted, detained, and questioned by Khartoum state police, while covering the demolition of the city’s El Takamol district on Wednesday.

Journalist Hawa Rahma was covering the news of the demolition of the district, which belongs to an Egyptian irrigation company in Khartoum. She told Radio Dabanga that she was approached by a woman agent of the security services, and taken to a group of policemen who were executing the removal order.

Rahma says that she was held and questioned repeatedly for about four hours. She was assaulted and beaten on her neck, prompting the intervention of one of the officers to release her.

She says that one of the officers with the rank of Captain threatened her, saying that they have orders ranging from killing to beating and she had better leave because “there is no place for press”.

Newspaper seized

On Wednesday morning the security apparatus confiscated about 15,000 copies of El Youm El Tali newspaper from the presses because of an article that criticised the government and the deterioration of services.

The Journalists Association for Human Rights (JAHR) condemned the confiscation of the newspaper and described it as “evidence of the lack of seriousness of the regime with regard to freedom of the press and expression”.

The Association pointed to previous confiscations of El Sayha and El Taghyeer newspapers last week. The publisher has decided to stop the publication of the newspapers, as the repeated confiscations first forced them to lay off staff, and have now put them out of business altogether.

Sudan languishes near the bottom - 174th out of 180 countries listed - on the 2016 World Press Freedom Index.

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