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Sudan press court fines critical journalist

August 22 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Suheir Abdalrahim (file photo)
Suheir Abdalrahim (file photo)

The Press and Publications Court ruled that journalist Suheir Abdelrahim must pay a fine of SDG3,000 ($446,800) for criticising Sudanese police on Monday.

Abdelrahim, a former journalist of El Tayyar newspaper, was fined on the grounds of insulting the performance of the Khartoum police director in one of her articles, on Monday morning.

On Saturday Nabil Adeeb, who defended the writer's case, told Radio Dabanga that they will appeal to the court's decision which fined Abdelrahim with 3,000 Sudanese pounds. “The decision of the court is a kind of quarantine on the freedom of opinion and press.”

The complaint to the Press and Publications Court against Abdelrahim was filed by the Khartoum state police director under the pretext that the journalist had ridiculed the performance of the police and downplayed its prestige in an article titled 'The Shoe Police'.

Her article mentioned the arrest by police of shoe thieves at mosques, slowing-down the prosecution of thieves of public money in corruption cases of all kinds and forms.

Adeeb said that the trial was conducted under Article 66 of the Penal Code and article 24 of the Press Act. “The conviction itself is the problem, since these articles and laws are contrary to the Constitution and do not fit in with it because the Constitution guarantees freedom of expression.

“This conviction affects the whole climate of freedom of the press in Sudan and generates a kind of self-censorship among journalists, which is considered a form of repression by law.”


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