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Sudanese Journalists Network: harassment of journalists as frequent as during Al Bashir era

August 31 - 2021 KHARTOUM
Logo of the Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN)
Logo of the Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN)

The Sudanese Journalists Network publicly condemned “the brutal attack on journalist Mohamed El Mustafa by regular armed forces on Saturday” in a statement yesterday. It called on the journalist community to take a stance against repression by regular armed forces.

The network affirmed its “firm solidarity” with journalist El Mustafa against these violations, which have unfortunately become as frequent as the violations and harassment practised by the ousted Al Bashir regime according to the network.

The network also condemned the persistent ill-treatment of journalist Tarig Osman by the reception staff of the Committee for Dismantling the June 30 System and Recovering Stolen Funds. The network explained that Osman himself was subjected to investigation and harassment by the anti-corruption committee’s employees and was denied entry, which means he was denied the right to obtain information.

The network called on the journalistic community to take a serious stand against such aggressive and repressive practices by the regular forces of all kinds against journalists.

Last week, military intelligence personnel brutally assaulted journalist Ali El Dali, which led the journalists to announce a three-day boycott of the news of the military establishment.

Press freedom

On World Press Freedom Day in May this year, the Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) criticised the fact that the National Press and Publications Council, “a repressive institution established by the defunct regime”, is still operating.

Newspapers in Sudan still operate under the repressive 2009 law, which enables strict state control over the press and journalism with licensing powers, approval powers, heavy fines, and criminal sanctions for media outlets and journalists, and which the SJU called an obstacle to revolutionary journalism that “the former regime put in place to protect itself” and to “silence mouths and deny press freedom”.

In January, the Military Intelligence banned journalists from entering Darfur after the deadly El Geneina attacks, which caused at least 100,000 people to flee their homes.

New Sudanese Journalist Union

Three press bodies have agreed to establish a professional union for Sudanese journalists of all genders under its historical name: the 'Sudanese Journalists Syndicate'.

The Preliminary Committee of the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate, the Committee to restore the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate, and the founding platform of the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate announced that they had overcome all previous disputes that led to the division of the press community and agreed to form a joint committee to work on establishing the new union. 

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