Sudanese Authorities - Press Freedom

ACJPS has documented several incidents where Sudanese authorities have interfered with the exercise of media freedom and free expression during September 2022. On several occasions, the authorities attacked and judicially harassed journalists during the course of their work. Currently there is no law that guarantees freedom of the media in Sudan.

KHARTOUM SEPTEMBER 26: The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies has documented several incidents where Sudanese authorities have interfered with the exercise of media freedom and free expression in the months of September 2022. On several occasions, the authorities attacked and/or judicially harassed journalists during the course of their work.

ACJPS reiterates its calls to the authorities of Sudan to end harassment of journalists, and fully guarantee press and media freedom as provided in the Constitutional Document of 2019, as well as international and regional human rights treaties to which Sudan is a state party.

further they urges the Government of Sudan to prioritize reform of media laws within the country to adhere to regional and international standards to which Sudan has committed, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Cases Of Attacks Against Journalists

On 12th September 2022, the court of Khartoum North dismissed the case and closed the file against Mr. Ibrahim Nogd Allah a Sudanese professional Photographer. The case was filed by a policeman against Mr. Ibrahim and he was charged with Public Noise and disturbance of Public Peace and photography of Military areas under articles 77, 69 and 57 Sudanese Penal Act, 1991. The case was recorded under No. 9454 -2022.

Mr. Ibrahim was arrested by military officers in Khartoum next to the new bridge that links Khartoum and Omdurman South through Abu Seed locality in the evening of 17th July 2022 after a rally. He was handed over to Police forces who proceed to file and register a case against him. The case was forwarded to Khartoum North Criminal court on 18th August 2022. The court then dismissed the case because of absence of the complaints and ordered that the officers return Mr. Ibrahim’s cameras that were confiscated during his arrest.

Mr. Ibrahim is a professional Photographer who is very active in rallies coverage. On 18th February,2022 he took three photos of a Sudanese Military Soldier while he was pointing his automatic gun in shooting position and targeted a bare-chested young protester in Khartoum.

On 13th September 2022, in a separate incident, Police forces targeted two journalists and distracted them from covering a rally in Khartoum. The first case was of Hussein Hennery a Sudanese Journalist who was obstructed using a tear gas canister that was thrown at him while he was covering the rally. This made it difficult for Mr. Hennery to do his work and thus moved away from the location.

The second case is that of Ms. Amira Saleh Sudanese Journalist working for Altar Sudan website. She was arrested by police in Khartoum while she was covering the 13th September 2022 rally. She was subjected to torture by police forces as she was beaten using sticks. She was later released on the same day after the rally had ended and no charges placed against her.

On 10 September 2022, ACJPS documented the judicial harrassment of Mr. Saif Eldien who was arrested, tortured and charged with defamation over a social media post.

It is safe to say that currently there is no law that guarantees freedom of the media. The media does not have a safe and open environment in which they can exist independently and free from censorship and harassment. Attempts to pass laws to protect the media were cut short by the coup which then suspended the legislature and the constitutional court.

Image: Hassan Hassoon

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