Hundreds of journalists, representatives of state institutions, civil society organizations and human rights activists joined the signing of the Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World at a ceremony in Khartoum.
Among the participants at the event on 7 January were senior government officials including HE Hasabo Mohammed Abdul Rahamn, Vice president of Sudan and HE Ahmed Belal Osman, minister of information, the Press Council, the national committee for human rights and the Human Rights Commission.
Sudan is the fourth Arab country to sign the Declaration after Palestine, Tunisia and Jordan.
On Sunday 8th Jan, the Declaration was signed by HE Yasir Yusif Ibrahim, State minister for media affairs, during an official meeting with Sadig Alriziqi, president of the Sudanese Journalists Union and Monir Zaarour, IFJ Coordinator for the Middle East and the Arab World.
The IFJ/SJU delegation also met with Ibrahim Mahmoud Hamid, assistant president of Sudan who expressed his strong support for the Declaration.
‘The government is committed to respect press freedom in Sudan.’ Ibrahim said during the signing. ‘This was one of the main outcomes of the national dialogue in Sudan and will guide the work of the new government which will take office in the near future.’
‘We are looking forward to working with the state institutions, media organizations and civil society in the coming period to establish an enabling environment for professionalism and independent journalism in Sudan.’ Said Alriziq
‘This is a historic moment for Sudanese journalists and the media’ said Monir Zaarour, ‘we are confident that adopting the Declaration will help in opening a new chapter in relations between the state and the media sector in Sudan.’
Following the signing of the Declaration, the government decided to allow Aum Durman TV to reopen after it had been closed a few weeks ago.
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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries