Sudan journalist ‘threatened’ by security forces in Omdurman

Security authorities in Omdurman detained Saleh Mohamed Abdallah, editor-in-chief of the El Dawahi online newspaper, on Saturday. He was interrogated and threatened by military intelligence for hours before being released.

After his release, Abdallah recounted the events to Radio Dabanga: “I was having a cup of tea at 08.00 in a café in Omdurman. Three security forces members arrived and asked for tea. They smoked a cigarette. I felt suffocated from the smoke, so I left the room and went into the space in front of the café. I started browsing my mobile phone and writing in my diary.

“I was surprised by a soldier standing in front of me, carrying a Kalashnikov rifle, wearing a military uniform with a civilian shirt, and two heavily armed soldiers next to him. He asked me what I was writing about. He asked for my ID card and asked if I was employed and where I worked. I told him I did not work.”

Abdallah explained that the three men took him to a building on El Sawra Street, where he was interrogated for more than four hours. Once they found out he is a journalist, he was forced to unlock his mobile phone. “All incoming and outgoing messages, social media photos, voice calls, videos, and deleted messages were examined.”

After hours of interrogation, an official told Abdallah that the pictures on his phone constituted conclusive evidence that he was cooperating with the Forces for Freedom and Change- Central Council (FFC-CC) and the Civil Democratic Alliance (Tagadom), “which they accused of being the political arm of the Rapid Support Forces (Rsf0”.

Despite his denial of these accusations, Abdallah says that a man who identified himself as a military intelligence officer came and reviewed the photos. “He claimed that images of Halfaya Bridge, a map of Jebel Moya, and other pictures on my phone were conclusive evidence of my involvement in journalistic efforts to threaten national security.”

Abdallah was released after officials evaluated the evidence and statements and reviewed his diary. They warned him that if they found him again, they would “smash [his] head with a gun”.


According to the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate (SJS), at least ten journalists have been killed since the start of the ongoing war in Sudan.

In a symposium for Sudanese journalists held in Kampala, Uganda, on Saturday, the secretary-general of SJS, Mohamed Abdelaziz, said that the Syndicate investigated these incidents to prosecute the perpetrators.

SJS reviewed the violations suffered by journalists in Sudan, including detention, intimidation, loss of shelter, and displacement, noting that “90 percent of media institutions had stopped working”. He applauded SJS’s efforts to help and protect its members, including providing psychological support and establishing an emergency fund for journalists stranded in high-risk areas.

During the symposium, which was titled ‘Sudan Journalists Under the Line of Fire: Searching for Protection in accordance with International Humanitarian Law and UN Resolutions’, former Minister of Information Faisal Saleh discussed the challenges of implementing laws and international conventions in Sudan. “The application of international laws and documents requires a democratic environment committed to human rights, and pressure from the trade union movement, to enforce these documents. Sudan deeply lacks such an environment.”

Targeting journalists

Dozens of human rights violations against journalists and other press workers have been reported in Sudan since April 15. Most of the newspapers and radio stations have been forced to close because of the fighting and the repression.

Last April, a joint editorial by the Sudan Media Forum lamented that the war in Sudan has claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions, and urged the global community “to rally behind the Sudanese people and demand an immediate end to the war through negotiations. This conflict has caused enough suffering and democratic regression.”

Targeted murders of journalists have plunged Sudan into a total media blackout. This prevents journalists from fulfilling their crucial role in informing the public, upholding journalistic integrity, and exposing the war’s devastating consequences. Millions are suffering, our nation is fractured, and foreign intervention looms.