Sudan: Supreme court revokes dismissal of 79 public media workers

The Supreme Court of Sudan has overturned the dismissal of 79 journalists and employees of the Public Authority for Radio and Television, the Sudanese public broadcaster. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) welcome the 17 February ruling that gives jobs back to dozens of journalists who were unfairly dismissed.

Sudanese journalists pose with with a copy of the Supreme Court ruling. Credits: SJU

On 10 December 2020, 79 journalists of the state National Authority of Radio and TV were dismissed due to alleged loyalty to the regime of former president Omar Al-Bashir and administrative irregularities in their hiring process.

Many of the fired media workers claimed that the decision had no basis and that they were given no opportunity to defend themselves. A group of them, with the support of the SJU, appealed the decision, claiming it was an act of intimidation against media workers and an attack on press freedom.

Now, the Supreme Court has ruled the layoffs were illegal and ordered the reinstatement of all the fired workers.

In a statement, the SJU welcomed a ruling that “does justice to public media workers” and called on the Sudanese judiciary to address other arbitrary firings both in public and private media institutions, such as the 105 workers of Tayba news dismissed in August 2020.

Since the removal of ex- president Omar al Bashir in 2019, the transitional authorities have arrested media workers and prevented agencies from doing their work in Sudan, while several media outlets, such as Al Jazeera's Mubasher, have been suspended.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “We welcome the Sudanese Supreme Court ruling and congratulate all the public media workers for getting their jobs back. We support the SJU’s call on the Sudanese judiciary to deliver justice to the hundreds of media workers whose labor rights have been violated."

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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