Minister guarantees press freedom in Sudan
Minister of Culture and Information Feisal Mohamed Saleh reiterated the Sudanese government’s commitment to guarantee freedom of press in the country. The minister’s comments were made on the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, which is held on November 2 each year .
Saleh himself suffered persecution and detention at the hands of the Al Bashir regime as an outspoken writer and journalist, and was winner of the 2013 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism.
In his statement on Saturday, he said “the government will prevent any kind of harassment, abuse, threats or pressure in any form against journalists. Crimes against journalists by individuals or groups will be dealt with swiftly.”
The minister also reiterated the full commitment of the government to the values and slogans of the December Revolution, calling for freedom, peace, justice, and rule of law.
Minister Saleh stated he will, in cooperation with the National Organisation for UNESCO, publish a draft media policy on Monday. It will provide a roadmap to reach solutions concerning the problems that the sector experiences.
A workshop will be held with 150 experts to review this media policy and to ensure that Sudan will have free and transparent press.
The preliminary committee for the restoration of the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate called for an investigation into the killing of publisher and editor-in-chief of El Nas newspaper Mekki Mohamed Mekki, and publisher and editor-in-chief of El Wifag newspaper, Mohamed Taha. The committee demands all the facts about these two crimes to be revealed.
The committee also called on the judicial authorities to investigate the attack on El Tayyar newspaper in 2014. Editor-in-chief Osman Merghani was badly beaten, other journalists were intimidated and property was stolen.
El Tayyar newspaper had numerous clashes with the former regime. It even filed a constitutional complaint against the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in March 2018 for disrupting the distribution of the newspaper.
The statement called on the United Nations and its member states to initiate a global charter guaranteeing protection of journalists.
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