A Sudanese journalist network and an association for displaced people in Darfur have condemned the removal of Dabanga Sudan TV from the Arab Satellite Communication Organization (ArabSat). The satellite network complied to a demand by the Sudanese government to remove Radio Dabanga's TV channel in May this year.
On Friday, leaders of the Sudanese civil society and opposition parties condemned the move by ArabSat, that stopped broadcasting the radio programmes and the TV news slides of Dabanga Sudan TV. Journalist Feisal El Bagir, the general coordinator for the Sudanese Journalist Network for Human Rights (JAHR), described the decision by the Arab League's ArabSat as a “conspiracy”, and that the League plays a role in “the support of […] repression of freedoms”.
El Bagir described in an interview with Radio Dabanga that the Arab League is biased towards the Sudanese government, which campaigns against Radio Dabanga. “We should be under no illusions that institutions such as ArabSat are free and democratic; since whoever owns the institution owns its decision.”
The JAHR praised the media role Radio Dabanga has been playing, “as an independent and credible medium in enlightenning and informing the public opinion about what is going on around them”.
“The role of the media is to publish facts, especially those which the Sudanse government is trying to hide."
“The politicised radio, television, and a great number of the daily newspapers are broadcasting propaganda to beautify the Government’s acts,” El Bagir added. “The role of the media is to publish facts, especially those which the Government is trying to hide. […] It is targeting Radio Dabanga for this reason.” He believes the media are a tool to achieve peace, justice, and respect for human rights.
The Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association has demanded an international and regional intervention to address the removal of Radio Dabanga from the Arab League satellite.
Hussein Abu Sharati, the spokesman for the association, said in a statement that what happened to Radio Dabanga is a denial of the right to the freedom of expression to vulnerable people in Darfur and other Sudanese states: “On a daily basis, people are able to reflect on the violations against them by militiamen and government forces, both inside as outside their camps and villages.”
Abu Sharati considered the move by ArabSat as a dictatorial act, that should be rejected. He called on all the displaced people in Sudan, refugees, and the Sudanese abroad to demonstrate and reject the removal of the Radio Dabanga TV channel.
Dabanga Sudan has moved to Eutelsat W7A, Frequency: 12399.