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newspapers are at the moment working under direct pre-publication censorship where news items, analysis, comments are withdrawn from newspapers at the last hour.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

India PM Modi's party distances itself from religious conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote a Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert to Hinduism More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid