Sudan: Journalists protest against the continued detention of press editor

Sudanese journalists took to the streets of the capital, Khartoum on Monday, 25 March to demonstrate against the continued incommunicado detention of their colleague Osman Mirghani, editor -in- chief of the Sudanese independent daily, Al Tayar.

Osmar Mirghani is the editor in chief of the independent daily Al Tayar. ASHRAF SHAZLY / AFP

UPDATE: Journalist Osman Mirghani was freed on Friday, 29 March. The IFJ welcomed his release and urged authorities to drop all charges on him.

Mirghani was arrested in his office on Friday, 22 February by the agents of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and detained in an unknown location without access to his family or a lawyer.  The journalist’s arrest was allegedly triggered by an interview that he granted to the Abu Dhabi based Sky News Arabia Network where he criticized President Al Bashir's imposition of a state of emergency and warning that such measures can “start a new wave of protest”.

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “The arrest and detention Osman Mirghani demonstrates the high handedness of the Sudanese government on press freedom.  Mirghani had only expressed his opinion on the country’s situation and has thus committed no offence.  His arrest and incommunicado detention without being charged or brought before a competent court is a flagrant violation of his right to free speech”.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) calls on the Government of Sudan to release Osman Mirghani immediately and unconditionally and expressess its serious concerns over the Sudanese government’s clampdown on journalists in the past months.