Sudan: Authorities block news websites

The Sudanese authorities blocked more than 30 news websites in the run up to protests demanding the resignation of the government. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns these attacks on media freedom and urges the authorities to stop their harassment of journalists.

Sudanese protesters in Omdurman, on June 30, 2021. Credits: EBRAHIM HAMID / AFP

Reports suggest Sudan's public prosecutor ordered the cyber crimes prosecutor's office to block numerous websites, mainly online news sites. The media concerned were not given prior notice. The justification given was to ensure "public safety and tranquillity". However, the public prosecutor denies ordering the blocking.

The sites include Al-Sudani (which has been suspended in the past by the authorities), Baj News, Azza Press, Khabat News and Tara News.

The media noticed the blocks on 29 June, one day before protests took place in several Sudanese cities, calling for the resignation of the government and better economic conditions.

Security forces quickly intervened to stop the protests on 30 June. The same day, they also arrested Ali Abu Shaleh, a journalist covering the protests in Khartoum for Al Jazeera. In a video posted by Al Jazeera, the journalist is seen being violently thrown into the back of a car. According to the news outlet, he was then detained and beaten during his detention, before being finally released.

The IFJ has condemned several times the arrests of journalists in connection with protests against the Sudanese government.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The Sudanese authorities must immediately stop their ongoing harassment of journalists. The arbitrary detention of media professionals, as well as the blocking of news websites, is an undeniable violation of media freedom. We condemn in the strongest terms these attacks, as the independence of the media and the right to information are under serious threat in Sudan.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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