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'Liberate the state media': Sudan Journalists' Network

April 16 - 2019 KHARTOUM
A vendor sells newspapers at a stand in Khartoum (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)
A vendor sells newspapers at a stand in Khartoum (Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters)

Sudanese journalist associations have called for the “liberation of state media in control of the former regime”, and requested it to be one of the demands in the transition of Sudan.

Yesterday, the Sudanese Journalists Network called for “the liberation of the official media (radio, television, Suna) from the clutches of the authority of the former regime, which has been in control for the last 30 years”.

The Network demanded in a statement to the press to end the manipulation of state-owned media and national institutions that served the regime of former president Omar Al Bashir and immediately “release” them. It called upon the signatories of the Declaration of Freedom and Change and the Sudanese Professionals Association to take steps towards “liberating the national institutions from the remnants of the abominable regime, especially the telecommunications sector, which endangered the lives of millions of Sudanese, as it was used as a vehicle for monitoring by the security apparatus”.

International press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) and the Sudanese Journalists’ Network said in March that dozens of journalists have been arrested since December. Numerous newspapers have been seized prior to distribution or banned from publishing in an attempt by the security apparatus, the NISS, to censor news outlets that circulate information that the government does not want to be public.

Editor-in-chief of El Tayyar daily newspaper Osman Mirghani, among others, was detained for weeks in a row and released last month following a televised interview where he discussed the protests in Sudan.

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. It did so again this month.

Sudan is ranked 174th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

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