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More journalists detained in Sudan press curbs – senior editor still held incommunicado

March 10 - 2019 KHARTOUM
Detained editor-in-chief of El Tayyar newspaper, Osman Mirghani, at a 2016 protest against the suspension of the newspaper (File photo)
Detained editor-in-chief of El Tayyar newspaper, Osman Mirghani, at a 2016 protest against the suspension of the newspaper (File photo)

The Sudanese Journalists Network condemned the ongoing crackdown on the press and journalists by the security forces, and held the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) responsible for the safety of detained editor-in-chief of El Tayyar newspaper Osman Mirghani.

The network explained in a statement on Friday that the security apparatus held journalists Salma Marouf and Um Salama El Asha on Thursday afternoon, interrogated them for more than three hours, inspected their laptops and telephones, and then released them.

The family of the editor-in-chief of El Tayyar newspaper Osman Mirghani, who was detained in Khartoum two weeks ago, reiterated concern about his fate after the authorities refused to allow them to visit him or to know the circumstances of his detention.

Mirghani’s son Jihad said in a statement last week: “The security authorities are still refusing to allow the family to visit Osman Mirghani to check on his health”.

The family called on the local, regional and international human rights organisations to intervene with the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him as a prisoner of conscience who only has exercised his right to expression.

NISS agents detained Mirghani from the newspaper’s office in Khartoum on Friday, February 22.

International press watchdog Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) and the Sudanese Journalists’ Network said this month that 79 journalists have been arrested since December, including some who have spent a month or more in prisons and detention centres.

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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