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Sudan journalists condemn junta curbs

November 3 - 2022 KHARTOUM
Sudanese newspapers (File photo)
Sudanese newspapers (File photo)

The Journalists Association for Human Rights (JAHR) in Sudan marked yesterday’s *International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, using the commemoration as an opportunity to highlight a number of significant abuses against Sudanese press freedom.

In a statement, JAHR pointed out that since the military coup d’état of October 25, 2021 an “increasing brutal restriction” on the press has taken hold through a slew of “repressive policies and practises”.

According to Faisal El Bagir, coordinator of JAHR, as well as journalists facing “harassment, kidnapping and false imprisonment”, methods such as “blocking the internet, cutting off telephone services, and hacking digital devices” have become well established tools to silence dissent by Sudan’s security service.

El Bagir renewed the association’s commitment in continuing their efforts with the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate, the Women’s Journalists Entity, and all parties in the journalistic arena, in order to “establish the largest coalition” of both men and women journalist organisations against impunity.

JAHR held the junta authority responsible for their crimes against journalists, adding that they also used their power “to cover up their crimes legally”.

The journalist association were steadfast in their opposition to the coup and defence of press freedom, saying that they “will continue their efforts in protecting journalists across Sudan”.

Sudan is ranked 151 out of 180 in the World Press Freedom Index, and is ranked as 29 out of 100, i.e. ‘Not Free’, in Freedom House’s Internet Freedom Index. “Anti-journalist predators enjoy total impunity and are protected by the authorities,” according to Reporters Without Borders. On its website, the organisation states that “journalists are working in a worsening climate of violence” since the coup.  

*International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists is in recognition of the far-reaching consequences of impunity, especially of crimes against journalists, that the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013 which proclaimed November 2 as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’ (IDEI). The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013, source UNESCO.

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