Sudan police assault journalist in Khartoum

KHARTOUM – March 14, 2023

Journalist Ikhlas Nimir announced her intention to sue the police and file an official complaint against them for allegedly physically and verbally assaulting her while she was covering the demolition of slums in El Mamoura in eastern Khartoum on Sunday.

Nimir told Radio Dabanga that police officers assaulted her physically and verbally while she was carrying out her professional duty.

“The police violently removed the slums, ignoring the wailing of the women living there who begged the police forces to allow them to at least take their belongings from the shacks before they would be demolished,” Nimir said about the event she was covering.

The police officers forced her to erase the pictures from her mobile phone and board a lorry, which travelled around several locations in Khartoum before she was released.

She said she would proceed to sue the police and would not accept a mere apology. Her hope is that suing the police will allow journalists to obtain their legitimate rights.

Ikhlas Nimir, the journalist who was assaulted by the police (social media)

The Sudanese Journalists Syndicate condemned, in the strongest terms, the physical abuse and forcible detention of Nimir by police.

The syndicate said in a statement that the police targeted the journalist while she was performing her professional duty. Ten police officers beat her while she was documenting the demolitions of the improvised buildings on her mobile phone.

One officer pointed a gun at her.

The syndicate also confirmed Nimir’s account that the police forced the journalist to climb into a police vehicle, under threat, and detained her inside the vehicle for several hours before eventually releasing her without charges.

The organisation condemned “this barbaric behaviour, which has become a feature of the police’s approach to confronting men and women journalists” and confirmed that it stands by Nimir at all levels.

Police violence is not rare in Sudan and the force has been accused of “being controlled by beliefs and behaviour of the former regime” of dictator Omar Al Bashir.

Especially women, journalists, and activists are targeted with police violence.