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Sudan releases two journalists, detention of Karrar continues

February 27 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Journalist Kamal Karrar of El Midan newspaper remains in detention by the Sudanese security service in Khartoum (file photo)
Journalist Kamal Karrar of El Midan newspaper remains in detention by the Sudanese security service in Khartoum (file photo)

Two detained journalists were released by the Sudanese security apparatus on Monday while journalist Kamal Karrar remains in detention. He has been detained for covering protests in Khartoum since January 16.

Newspaper reporters Ahmed Jadein (El Jareeda) and El Haji Abdelrahman El Moz (Akhbar El Yowm) were released from political detention. The Sudanese Journalists’ Network (SJN) published a statement yesterday to demand the release of Karrar, a correspondent of El Midan newspaper.

The network stated that Karrar has been held without charge “other than carrying out his duties in covering the recent popular protests in the country”. El Midan is owned by the Sudanese Communist Party.

The SJN further condemned the detention of the publisher of the Sudanese Baj News, Malik Jaafar, for two days. The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) also summoned Lina Yagoub, editor of the news website, and subjected her to questioning.

The NISS has not informed the news website about the reasons for the arrest and questioning. Baj News had published an article about recent changes in the administration of the Central Bank of Sudan.

Political detainees

The Sudanese security service (NISS) reportedly released more than 80 political detainees in Khartoum on February 18, following a decision by President Omar Al Bashir. The next day the NISS released several other political detainees. All of them were detained during a tide of protest against new austerity measures and the skyrocketing prices of basic consumer goods.

In addition, the Sudanese authorities confiscated more than one edition of at least four newspapers in January.

The SJN said in its statement yesterday that the security apparatus uses the same tactics to control the electronic press as it does with the newspaper and cable media. It called upon affected journalists to report the violations they face, and to cooperate against the persistent attacks on the freedom of press by the security service.

Last week the international watchdog Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Sudan to urgently release all detainees, or promptly charge them with a recognisable crime in procedures that uphold due process and ensure that they are allowed family visits and medical care.

“Sudan’s tactic of silencing dissent through mass arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, and other rights violations needs to stop,” said Jehanne Henry, senior Africa researcher at HRW.

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