Sudan: IFJ demands authorities reverse decision to ban journalists' union

The IFJ has strongly condemned moves by the Sudanese authorities to ban and forcibly shut down the country's trade unions, including its affiliate the Sudanese Journalists' Union.

Credits: Mohamed el-Shahed / AFP

The offices of the Sudanese Journalists' Union are currently occupied by military forces. The move comes just months after the union's head was seized and detained for several days by the military authorities.

The global trade union movement has reacted with anger and demanded the Sudanese authorities act in line with international standards and stop the arbitrary denial of human rights and reverse their unlawful dissolution of professional associations.

In a statement the SJU said:

"The Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU), which is the elected entity that represents all journalists categories, affirms its complete rejection of the decision of the committee formed by the sovereign council, the cabinet, and the party alliance for the forces of freedom and change, regarding the dissolution of professional associations, including the Sudanese Journalists Union- SJU.

The decision to dissolve is legally invalid, as it violates a set of existing laws; it is an unjust decision; it contradicts the law on professional associations , the freedom of association and international conventions for labor and trade union rights, and it is considered blatant interference from the transitional executive authority that does not have an electoral mandate that enables it to pass legislation;

It is unacceptable for journalists and other professionals whose federations were included in the decision of dissolution and goes against their right to free choice and their right to organize themselves. The decision blatantly violates the rights of professional associations.

It was issued by a governmental committee that does not represent neutrality, as some of its members belong to political and party organizations that seek to perpetuate a political reality that is not related to the law or justice;

The SJU is a federation elected from the press base in accordance with a law that is still in effect, and it is not permissible for any government or partisan party to interfere in its affairs or to issue a decision to dissolve it or disrupt its activities.

So the decision of the governmental committee is an overwhelming decision of arbitrariness and authoritarianism, which makes the unions and federations subject to partisanship and political bias, and this politicization, and will have severe consequences on the professional sectors and labor organizations and trade unions.

The SJU will work to mobilize its membership and press base to oppose this decision and address it by all legal and peaceful means to prevent the confiscation of the free will of journalists and stand strongly against politicization. It calls on the Sovereign Council and its members from indulging in open partisan and political work and rejects interference contrary to all international rules, regulations and laws related to trade union and professional action.

The SJU will work to expose these schemes to abort trade unions and federations. This is a move that bears the features of dictatorships and coercive regimes.

The press will remain a beacon of freedom, a beacon of truth and a commitment to the values ​​and impartiality of the press, and will not be subject to political blackmail and partisan plots".

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: "This decision violates international norms and is a blatant attempt by the authorities to seize control of the trade union movement and professional associations for their own political gain. We urge then to step back and for the international labour movement to defend the rights of professionals to organise independently 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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