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More voices of outrage at Radio Dabanga satellite blackout

March 8 - 2018 SUDAN

Reactions have continued to reach Radio Dabanga following  the suspension of the Dabanga Sudan satellite TV programme by Egyptian satellite service company Nilesat on February 18, after Khartoum made a complaint about the news channel to the Egyptian authorities.

On February 18, the Egyptian satellite service company Nilesat shut-down the uplink of the 24/7 Dabanga Sudan satellite programme to its channel on Eutelsat – a satellite service at the same position. The suspension took place without prior notice to Radio Dabanga or its service management system, so the channel went dark until a new frequency at Eutelsat allowed transmission to resume the next day at 1pm.

The change required Dabanga Sudan viewers to re-tune their satellite receivers to the new frequency. Online viewers can also stream the channel live via the link in the masthead of this page.

'Radio Dabanga is the lung for the Sudanese people to breathe credibility, objectivity, and purposeful message' - National Umma Party

The National Umma Party, led by Imam El Sadig El Mahdi, condemned the Nilesat suspension of broadcasting and targeting of Radio Dabanga. In a statement on Tuesday, the party said that “Radio Dabanga is the lung for the Sudanese people to breathe credibility, objectivity, and purposeful message".

Mohamed El Amin Abdelnabi, head of the party’s media bureau, said that “Radio Dabanga is the voice of the people, freedom, and truth. The regime seeks to stop to so as not to have its falseness revealed.

He described Radio Dabanga as an interactive media voice that unifies all people in seeking their rights. “Requests for the suspension of Radio Dabanga will not give false credibility to government information, nor can it attract followers because the Sudanese people are well aware of the truth of lying through the [state] media.”

The party said in its statement that the campaign to undermine the free media must be faced with a counter-campaign that nullifies the measures and policies of repression and targeting.

Full solidarity

Abdelnabi told Dabanga Radio about the full solidarity of the Umma National Party with Radio Dabanga and all types of free press that reveal corruption, tyranny, and advocate the consolidation of the values of just governance such as transparency, freedom, justice, and democracy.

The opposition Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Minawi (SLM-MM) and the SPLM-North of Nuba strongly condemned the February 18 decision to suspension Radio Dabanga and expressed their unlimited solidarity with Dabanga in two separate statements.

The SLM-MM said that the ban on the use of technological means to impede freedom of expression and opinion and restriction of freedom of thought contravenes with all charters and conventions, particularly the UN Charter, specifically article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

Jatigo Amoga Dalman, the spokesman for the SPLM-N of Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan said that “the targeting of Radio Dabanga is a systematically aimed at silencing the voices of those that Al Bashir regime has failed to silence through the barrel of a gun.”

He stressed that the suspension of Radio Dabanga from broadcasting is “a crime against millions and contrary to international conventions of the right of expression which is a genuine human right.”

Media curbs

The Sudanese Journalists’ Network denounced the suspension move as “a clear violation of freedom of expression and a desperate attempt by the Sudanese regime to stifle voices in the media abroad as it has been doing with the media home”.

Hasan Barkiya, a member of the journalists' network, called via Radio Dabanga on the local, regional and international human rights organisations to intervene and pressure to protect the media and enable it to exercise its full rights by expressing its views unconditionally except through the recognised moral and legal obligation.

The SPLA-N led by Malik Agar leadership strongly denounced oppressive measures against Radio Dabanga as “a result of a visit by Sudanese government leaders to Cairo which resulted in the interruption of broadcasting”.

Millions of listeners

The secretary-general of the movement Ismail Jalab said in a statement that “since the start of the first broadcast, Radio Dabanga has been a radio and media outlet respected, professional, and capable of broadcasting the right news. Its journalism and hosting national leaders and symbols keep listeners connected to the leaders of the country and familiar with the latest developments and news, and has thus has gained millions of listeners.

He called in his statement on the Egyptian leadership not to trust the regime of Khartoum, which is an isolated government that represents only itself.

He also called on the Egyptian leadership to stand with the Sudanese people and their just cause.

Abroad

The Sudanese Writers and Journalists’ Union in Belgium, the Sudanese activists in France and the Sudan National Democratic Forum in California condemned in separate statements the suspension of broadcasting of Radio Dabanga via Nilesat satellite as a result of the security understandings between the Sudanese and Egyptian regimes.


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