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UN Expert to study press freedom violations in Sudan

April 22 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Aristide Nononsi, UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the country, gives a press briefing in Khartoum (RD)
Aristide Nononsi, UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in the country, gives a press briefing in Khartoum (RD)

The UN independent human rights expert on Sudan, Aristide Nononsi, promised to add studies on violations to the freedom of press in Sudan in his next report on the human rights situation.

Nononsi, currently visiting Sudan, expects to submit the upcoming report to the Human Rights Council in July.

Hassan Berkiya, of the leadership of the Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN), told Radio Dabanga that a delegation of the SJN met with the United Nations human rights expert on Wednesday, to deliver a memorandum on the violations of press freedom, confiscation of newspapers, and security and police interventions. “These affect newspapers through advertising. In addition they intervene through the owners of the newspapers.”

The recently published quarterly report on press freedom by the network reported an increase in the number of violations against journalists and press freedom. It holds government bodies, the security service, and police responsible for the violations.

“The report marked 23 violations during the reporting period, including 10 by the security apparatus,” according to Berkiya. He complained about the absence of a formal body that defends journalists.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) found that Sudan has not improved its press freedom and treatment of journalists last year. In this week's published World Press Freedom Index, the country retained the same position as in the last report, ranking 174 out of the 180 rated countries.

“The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) hounds journalists and censors the print media, above all by closing down newspapers, such as the daily Al Tayar in December 2015, or by confiscating entire newspaper issues as they come off the press. Journalists are subjected to interminable judicial proceedings with potentially long jail sentences,” the report read.

The UN General Assembly declared May 3 to be World Press Freedom Day, to raise awareness of the importance of freedom of the press.


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