The police in Zalingei, capital of Central Darfur, released journalist Hafida Abdallah Mousa after arresting her while she was performing her work and detaining her for hours without following any legal procedures. The incident led to condemnation from the Darfur Media and Journalists Association and the local state government.
Police forces in Zalingei arrested the journalist when she was working to cover a vigil of vegetable traders in a local market. The traders object to the decision to move the market elsewhere.
The vegetable traders welcomed the journalist. One of them told Radio Dabanga that the police prevented her from filming and covering the event and took her phone before taking her to the police station and detaining her without following any legal procedures.
The Darfur Media and Journalists Association condemned the arrest of the journalist and considered 'it illegal behaviour'. The association rejects any kind of policing that deprives journalists of their right to perform their professional journalistic duties and asked the police to take the legal route in confronting journalists.
Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontières/RSF) also demanded her immediate release "and respect for the work of journalists in Sudan" on social media.
After the incident, the authorities in Central Darfur state demanded the immediate release of Mousa and asked the police hand over her telephone. They said that no journalist should face objections when performing their duties.
Mousa works for the State Authority for Radio and Television in Central Darfur.
The African Center for Justice and Peace Studies (ACJPS) documented and condemned harassment and censorship of journalists in Sudan last month. “Sudanese authorities continue to harass and make it difficult for journalists to do their work in Sudan,” they said.