AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
Prominent Sudanese journalist acquitted
6 June 2012
Faisal Mohammed Saleh, a prominent Sudanese journalist who faced harassment by the security services, was acquitted on 31 May of charges of non-compliance with a public agent. While he remains indicted on criminal counts for his writings, he faces no immediate threat to his life or well-being.
Faisal Mohammed Saleh, a prominent journalist and the director of Teeba Press, an NGO which trains journalists, was arrested on 8 May because he refused to report to the offices of the National Security Service (NSS). His refusal came after 13 days during which he was made to report daily to the NSS office, ostensibly for questioning.
He was then released and re-arrested repeatedly. On 15 May, Faisal Mohammed Salih was arrested once again and was brought to the Prosecutor dealing with charges of crimes against the state. He was notified of new criminal charges for “failing to attend to the order of a public servant”, under article 94 of the 1991 Criminal Code, in relation to his refusal to sign an NSS order to report to their offices.
On 31 May, the judge at the Criminal Court of Khartoum North found Faisal Mohammed Salih not guilty of offenses under article 94. News agencies reported that the judge considered the NSS’s denial of food and water to Faisal Mohammed Saleh during his detention had “threatened his life”.
Faisal Mohammed Saleh continues to face criminal charges of defamation and is accused of ruining the reputation of the NSS for an article he published on 1 March 2011 on the rape of Safia Ishaag, an activist. He is due to attend a hearing at the court on 11 June. Amnesty International continues to closely monitor the situation regarding these charges.