Sudan halts operations of Saudi and UAE state-owned channels

Sudanese Journalists Syndicate (Photo: Skyline International for Human Rights)

The Sudanese Ministry of Culture and Information announced the suspension of operations for Saudi state-owned broadcasters Al Arabiya and Al Hadath, as well as the UAE-owned Sky News Arabiachannel, effective from Tuesday. 

The ministry cited reasons of non-compliance with license renewal procedures and a lack of transparency as grounds for this decision.

Drawing immediate criticism, the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate (SJS) denounced it as a blatant violation of freedom of expression and press freedom.

In a statement, the syndicate emphasised that such actions aimed at silencing professional media voices and could potentially foster the spread of misinformation and hate speech.

Al Hadath expressed surprise at the decision, noting that neither the channel’s office nor Al Arabiya had received official notification from Sudanese authorities.

The SJS also highlighted that the decision was part of an ongoing crackdown on journalists who have been operating in challenging conditions since the outbreak of war in Sudan last April.

The union called upon Sudanese authorities to uphold press freedom and adhere to national laws and international charters safeguarding the rights of journalists.

Al ArabiyaAl Hadath, and Sky News Arabia have yet to issue official responses to the suspension.

The SJS, alongside international human rights and journalistic organisations, urged regional and global entities to condemn the targeting of journalists and to provide support in accordance with international standards.