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Sudan putschists pressure press freedom as BBC reporters detained

February 8 - 2022 KHARTOUM

The BBC reported on Monday that the Sudanese security forces detained three of its reporters in Khartoum. The broadcaster tweeted that “the Sudanese security forces arrested the BBC Arabic team delegated to Khartoum and accredited by the Sudanese Ministry of Information.”

“The BBC Arabic reporters, comprising of three people, were taken to an unknown destination,” BBC Arabic tweeted.

The BBC’s administration is conducting extensive contacts with the Sudanese authorities in order to ensure the reporters’ release as soon as possible.

The detentions follow a pattern of repression and harassment of the press and journalists since the October 25 military coup. Journalists and correspondents of satellite channels and agencies are facing increasing violence and prosecutions by the security forces since the October coup, especially when covering the pro-democracy marches calling for a return to civilian rule.

Photographers Mohamed Khidir and Majdi Abdallah working for the Chinese news agency Xinhua were detained and questioned for hours by the military authorities on January 12.

Crew members of the London-based Al Araby press agency were attacked with tear gas canisters while they were filming protests from their office in central Khartoum on January 4.

In late December, joint security forces stormed the offices of the Arab Al Arabiya and Al Hadath satellite TV channels, assaulted the journalists present, destroyed their equipment, and stole their belongings. Staff members of Asharq News Channel and Sky News Arabia were threatened as well.

During the Marches of the Millions on December 19, a large number of journalists and other media professionals in the capital were beaten and detained. A woman journalist went missing.

In January, the Sudanese Ministry of Information and Culture withdrew the license of Al Jazeera Live, and closed its office in Khartoum.


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