Home | News    Thursday 4 August 2011

UN decries jailing of Sudanese journalists

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

August 3, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The United Nations (UN) has strongly condemned the prison sentences given last month on two Sudanese female journalists for speaking out against the alleged rape of a female activist by the country’s security agents.

JPEG - 21.5 kb
UN envoy Margot Wallstrom (www.menasborders.blogspot.com)

Margot Wallström, the special representative of the UN’s secretary-general on Sexual Violence in Conflict, on Wednesday said she was “very concerned” about last month’s sentencing of Amal Habani and her colleague Fatima Ghazali to a month in jail on charges of defamation stemming from an alleged case of rape of a female activist.

Habani and her colleague, both working for the privately owned Arabic daily Al-Jaridah, are the first two journalists to be sentenced to jail among a handful of their peers awaiting trial on the same charges of defamation and publication of false news brought against them by the country’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

The genesis of the case dates back to February this year when Safia Ishaq, a female activist with the youth anti-government group Girifna, appeared in a Youtube video and alleged she was raped by three NISS agents who kidnapped her following her participation in anti-government protests a month earlier.

According to Wallström, the sentences “do not only infringe on the freedom of speech and of the media, but also stifle sexual violence survivors and those who support them from speaking publicly about these crimes,” Wallström said in a statement seen by Sudan Tribune.

“Rapists – not reporters – must face criminal charges in the Sudan,” she added.

The UN official said she condemns “in the strongest terms the employment of sexual violence as a means to political ends.”

Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based press-freedom watchdog, in June lamented “the disgraceful way the authorities are harassing and prosecuting journalists in Khartoum and the north of the country in an attempt to silence them and stop embarrassing revelations about human rights violation by the security forces.”

In June, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based advocacy group, said that Sudanese authorities continue to “aggressively” target individual journalists and publications through “contrived legal proceedings, politicized criminal charges, and confiscations.”

Results published as part of UNESCO 2011 World Press Freedom Day, Sudan ranks as 40 out of 48 in Sub-Saharan Africa for press freedom. Amnesty International described Sudan as a place where freedom of speech is being "openly violated”.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


National dialogue building nation 2017-05-22 21:10:41 By Amb. Dhano Obongo Initially, I congratulate and commend H.E the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, for recognising the need for a national dialogue among 64 (...)

The raging just revolution in Darfur will continue burning until victory 2017-05-22 21:04:22 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman Author Mahmoud Yusuf says that we live in a historical stage full of serious events that will affect the future of mankind on this planet, including what is related to (...)

South Sudan: How culture of revenge inhibits development and progress 2017-05-13 08:09:39 By Steve Paterno Admittedly, revenge or the act of it is inherently human in nature. The human beings since biblical times could not dissuade from the proverbial practice of an 'eye for an eye.' (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


HRW denounces "collective punishment" in South Sudan’s Wau 2017-04-15 07:06:48 Human Right Watch South Sudan: New Spate of Ethnic Killings Urgent Need for Justice; UN Should Increase Patrols in Wau (Nairobi, April 14, 2017) – Government soldiers and allied militias (...)

Statement by South Sudanese Communist Party on the National Dialoguel 2017-03-22 05:44:42 The Communist Party of South Sudan On the Initiative of the National Dialogue The initiative taken by the President of the Republic of South Sudan declaring a need for a national dialogue is an (...)

An Appeal to President of the Republic of South Sudan 2017-03-15 07:22:45 Dear. Mr. President, I write to appeal to you for the release of political detainees now in the custody of the National Security Service at Jebel and other detention facilities. In doing this, I (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2017 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.