News / Africa

Sudanese Journalists March in Protest

Anti-government protestor faces riot police last week in Khartoum (A. Ahmed/VOA).
Anti-government protestor faces riot police last week in Khartoum (A. Ahmed/VOA).
Alsanosi Ahmed
KHARTOUM — More than 100 Sudanese journalists took to the streets Wednesday to protest the deteriorating press freedom in the country. The demonstration follows last week’s closure of the Alahadath newspaper by authorities in Khartoum for publishing several reports about government policies which affect the newspaper industry.

The secretary-general of the Sudanese journalist’s network, Khalid Saad, called on government officials to stop arresting journalists for doing their job.

"The main reason of our strike is the detention of our colleagues," he said. "We want them to be released; they were detained for unknown reasons. A number of our colleagues have [also] been attacked while covering some events."

The protesting journalists were quickly surrounded by police officers in pickup trucks but the demonstration was allowed to continue and no arrests were made. In recent months, Sudan has increased taxes on paper and ink, forcing newspapers to raise prices. In the last six months, prices of newspapers have doubled, and sales have dropped, forcing many newspapers to lay off reporters.

Mahjub Mohamed Salih is a veteran Sudanese journalist who has been in the media industry for the past 60 years, said this is the worst environment he has ever witnessed in Sudan.

“[The media] is under contentious harassment from the government," he said. "The newspapers are at the moment working under direct pre-publication censorship where news items, analysis, comments are withdrawn from newspapers at the last hour. Some papers have closed down by a government order, [while some ] newspapers closed down or [were] confiscated after publication’’.

Mahjub says the number of detained journalists by Sudanese security has doubled since last month. Since the student-led protests began over a month ago, more than 20 local journalists have been detained. Three foreign journalists were also detained. Some  of them were  released after thorough investigations by security officials.

The press office at the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service has urged journalists not to report on any protests.  But Salih said the old method of censorship has no place in the modern world of the Internet.

“It is only natural, because the government thinks that these are very limited protests and should not be blown out of context," he said. "This policy doesn’t take into consideration that the world is one village, so any attempt to stifle news or make a news blackout will not succeed.”

Khartoum says the press in Sudan is relatively free, pointing to the number of newspapers currently in print as evidence. But Sudan routinely falls near the bottom of press freedom rankings in data compiled by organizations such as the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid