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Journalists, lawyers protest in Khartoum, El Gedaref

March 6 - 2019 KHARTOUM / EL GEDAREF

On Tuesday, a large number of journalists and lawyers in Sudan staged a one-day strike in response to the call of the signatories to the Declaration of Freedom and Change. Lawyers refrained from appearing before the courts except in cases involving protesters, while journalists displayed notices of the strike at the headquarters of newspapers, and refrained from performing press assignments.

An activist from El Gedaref said many of lawyers who were on a strike from work gathered in front of the El Gedaref Court to represent three people held for participating in Monday’s demonstrations.

The court postponed the case to another date.

On Monday, the independent El Jareeda newspaper filed a protest note to the National Press Council regarding the exceptional measures that have been taken by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) against the newspaper, which has led to the confiscation of 60 print runs since the start of the demonstrations in mid-December 2018.

El Jareeda newspaper decided to suspend publication after NISS officers demanded that any copy be brought to its offices before printing for “correcting” it before publication.

It also ordered that the electronic version be identical to the one approved.

The note called on the NISS through the National Press Council to abide by the Constitution and the law and the right to publish the press should be in order to enrich freedom of expression.

It urged the Press Council to play its role to protect the press, especially as those measures harm readers by absenting El Jareeda and threatening to deprive journalists and employees of their work and their effects could reach the families.

In January, Sudanese authorities withdrew work permits and press cards from journalists of Sudanese and foreign media agencies, including at the offices of Al Jazeera and El Arabiya TV Satellite channels in Khartoum, as well as correspondents of the Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Sudanese media organisations and journalists have been targeted for reporting events surrounding demonstrations that have been going on for over two months, which call for the step-down of President Al Bashir and his regime which has been in power for almost 30 years.

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