Skyline International for Human Rights is “astonished” by the decision of the Sudanese authorities to refuse the official registration of the Journalists Syndicate within the country’s trade unions, according to a press statement on Monday.
The Registrar General of Labor Organisations justified its refusal to accept the Journalists Syndicate’s application on the pretext that it violated the 2010 Law on Trade Unions. The international organisation, which is based in Stockholm, Sweden, stressed that “this delay and refusal is an incomprehensible violation of the legal provisions that guarantee it.”
20 trade unions and professional associations issued a joint statement expressing their condemnation: “The refusal of the existing authority to recognise democratic trade unions is a violation of human rights.”
They pointed out that the refusal “is considered an abandonment of Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and the Right to Organise,” which Sudan has ratified and which has been in force since March 2022. The joint statement called on all independent and emerging trade union organisations to join the international labour principles and declare their trade union solidarity with the Journalists Syndicate and other trade union organisations.
Skyline expressed concern that “the decision not to register the Journalists Syndicate may have a political dimension, especially as local human rights news and reports reflect an escalation in arrests and detentions of dissidents, media workers, and activists under the pretext of belonging to the former regime and committing crimes against the state.”
Skyline called on the Sudanese authorities “to allow the Journalists Syndicate to be registered in the lists of professional syndicates and to grant it the necessary licenses based on Sudanese and international legislation.” The organisation also called for the cease of “persecution and arrest campaigns against dissidents, activists, and journalists.”
On October 24, Sudan’s Supreme Court decreed the reinstatement of the unions and federations that were dissolved by the now-disbanded Empowerment Removal Committee* in March 2019 and cancel all the procedures that resulted from ERC’s work. These unions were suspended again at the end of November.
Since last October’s military coup, Sudanese state ministers and officials have resorted to practices used by the former regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir, such as piling on bureaucratic procedures to extract profit and attempting to interfere in NGO procurements, according to aid workers, experts, and UN agencies.
On October 23, Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) cancelled the registration of the Sudanese Consumer Protection Society, after telecom companies cut off the internet connection of the Association despite a number of official complaints.
The controversial cancellation came almost two months after the HAC allowed the re-registration of 23 non-governmental organisations and associations which “represent hidden facades” of the dissolved NCP.