The poet Yousef El Dosh appeared before the Sudanese Press and Publications Prosecution Office in Khartoum yesterday. Shortly after, he was released from prison according to a statement from Abdelfattah El Burhan, the Chairman of the Sovereignty Council.
The poet from Khartoum was summoned to appear before the Press and Publications Prosecution Office because of a poem he read out on Sudanese TV24 more than a month ago.
The poem was about the violent dispersal of protestors at the sit-in in front of the army command in Khartoum on June 3, 2019, also called the June 3 Massacre.
El Dosh addressed a crowd of activists in front of the prosecution office and said that the investigator had interrogated him about the content of his poetry, which discussed the issue of sovereignty and included a description of a dog wearing a necklace. He refused to provide an interpretation of the poem.
The poet also expressed his happiness to the crowd, calling on everyone to re-publish the poem. El Dosh gained widespread solidarity on social media when this case was opened against him by the Sovereignty Council.
The families of the June 3 martyrs stood in front of the prosecution office in solidarity with the poet. Some activists came from Wad Madani.
Although progress has been made, the media freedom situation in Sudan is “still below the standards set by the transitional government, that was founded on freedom, peace and justice,” said Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on May 3 last year. Today, draconian laws that the old regime used against the media are still in effect.