Sudan: Press council suspends two newspapers for three days

The National Press and Publications Council of Sudan suspended on 20 September the publication of newspapers, Al – Intibaha and Al – Sayha for a period of three days from 21- 23 September for allegedly publishing a report on the closing of the roads in the eastern part of the country, where protests have been taking place. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) in condemning this arbitrary decision by the Council which is not backed by any Court order and violates the people’s right to know.

People shop at the "Local Market" for vegetable produce in the south of Sudan's capital Khartoum on September 22, 2021. Ebrahim HAMID / AFP

According to a press release issued by the SJU, the decision of the Council comes amid a “fierce and unprecedented attack by the Transitional Government" issuing the slogan “freedom, peace and justice against journalists, media institutions, trade unions and professional unions in the country”. The Transitional Government has also banned Radio Taiba and Al –Rai Al – Aam newspaper and dismissed dozens of journalists and workers from the state media, including the national radio and television, the Broadcasting Corporation and the Sudanese News Agency. The office of the SJU has also been forcefully shut down.

It could be recalled thatThe Sudanese government signed the International Undertaking for Media Freedom during a session of the 74th UN General Assembly in New York. Speaking at an event to defend media freedoms hosted by the British government, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdouk said no journalist in the new Sudan would be repressed or imprisoned.  Hamdouk also held a number of bilateral meetings with country representatives and officials of international organisations deliberating about the issue of peace in Sudan, human rights, debt relief, removing Sudan from the list of sponsors of terrorism, economic cooperation and Sudan's commitment to a balanced foreign policy.

The SJU calls on the Transitional Government to “lift the measures imposed by the so-calledCommittee for the Elimination of the Empowerment of Trade Unions and Professional Federations in Sudan, reopen all media houses that have been closed and allow all journalists and media workers who have been dismissed to return to work and allows again blocking newspaper web sites and social media platforms. The Empowerment Elimination, Anti-Corruption, and Funds Recovery Committee was formed in November 2019 after the transitional government approved a law to dismantle the institutions set-up by the regime of Omar Al Bashir and his National Congress Party (NCP).

The General Secretary of the IFJ, Anthony Bellanger said that the suspension of the two newspapers is a direct attack on media freedom and the citizens’ right to information in Sudan. "The newspapers have done nothing wrong in publishing reports on the protest in the eastern part of the country, they simply reported on a matter of public interest. The Government of Sudan must demonstrate tolerance and show respect for the rule of law and good governance."

The IFJ joins its affiliate the SJU in calling the Press and Publication Council to revoke its decision and allow the newspapers to continue with their work with immediate effect and without any conditions. "We also call on the government to allow journalists and media workers to return to work and to reopen the offices of the Sudanese Journalists Union and other trade unions without any further delay," said Bellanger. 




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

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

Follow the IFJ on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Subscribe to IFJ News