Sudanese journalist beaten in Omdurman home during protest
Journalist Difaf Mousa of El Tayyar newspaper reported that during the peaceful procession on Wednesday, a group of armed men, some dressed in civilian clothes and one wearing military uniform, stormed her house El Morada in Omdurman, beat her and terrified her children.
Mousa told Radio Dabanga that a group of demonstrators who being chased by men driving a Land Cruiser without licence plates, took refuge in her house. The armed men first threatened to fire tear gas into her home, then opened the door and forcibly searched the house, beat her severely, and abused her verbally.
Mousa said that the security force official told her that “the country is governed by the law of the jungle”. She explained that she and her children have been in a state of panic since the armed group broke into their house. She wondered what forces they represented as the security services have kept denying breaking into houses.
On Tuesday, the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) banned the issuing of El Jareeda newspaper. During pre-publication censorship, the NISS demanded the deletion of the front page and the news of the arrests and detentions, but the newspaper refused to comply with security requirements, so it was forced not to print.
The security apparatus also on Tuesday confiscated all the print copies of the newspaper El Intibaha. They banned columnist Shamayel El Nour from publishing at El Tayyar newspaper and forced the newspaper to remove the column name permanently from the last page.
Yesterday, the Sudanese Journalists Network appealed in a statement to launch a campaign of material and moral support for El Jareeda newspaper, in coordination with the administration of the newspaper to survive its ordeal.
Journalists Ageel Naeem, Kamal Karrar, Gurashi Awad, Ismail Bilal, and Omar Juma are still being held in a NISS detention centre.
The NISS detained 28 journalists for several hours ahead of a planned sit-in to protest the pre-publication censorship on Sudanese newspapers on Monday.
The sit-in was planned to be held in front of the headquarters of the security department in El Mak Nimir Street in downtown Khartoum. The crowd would present a memorandum against the security service’s repeated confiscation and prevention of publication of El Jareeda and El Baath newspapers.
The NISS demands newspapers remove any news articles about the ongoing demonstrations in Sudan, as well as any columns about the events that have been taking place in Khartoum, cities and towns across Sudan in the past four weeks.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Reacting to the new arrests, International press freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has reiterated its alarm about the clampdown on Sudan’s media and persecution of media personnel.
“We unreservedly condemn these new arrests, the latest escalation in the government’s harassment of media outlets and journalists who try to cover the ongoing events in their country,” said Arnaud Froger, the head of RSF’s Africa desk. “The policy of systematically confiscating newspapers and arbitrarily arresting reporters is reaching alarming levels. This persecution of journalists and clampdown on news coverage must stop.”
Since the protests began on 19 December, RSF has registered more than 90 press freedom violations, including 62 arrests and 21 seizures of newspapers by the NISS. El Jareeda issues have been confiscated 11 times.
Sudan is ranked 174th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.
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