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Sudanese police arrest 70 journalists over protest for press freedom

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November 17, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese authorities arrested over 70 journalists who demonstrated outside the national parliament to protest against press censorship, this morning.

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A Sudanese journalist protests against censorship in Khartoum November 4, 2008. (Reuters)

The Sudanese police arrested on Monday morning 70 journalists that gathered to present a memorandum to the lawmakers asking them to revise Press and Media Law and to make it conform to the interim constitution.

Two of the arrested journalists told Sudan Tribune that Yasir Arman the head of the SPLM caucus addressed the gathering before their detention and pledged to raise the issue inside the parliament.

Over 150 Sudanese journalists launched on Tuesday on 4 November b a 24-hour hunger strike and the Ajras Al-Hurriya, Al-Maidan and Rayal Al-Shab newspapers halted production for three days, saying they could no longer accept government restrictions over editorial content.

Sudanese Journalists are subjected on daily basis to increased harassment, arrest, detention and interrogation; and their printed newspapers are confiscated, say rights activists in a letter submitted to Submitted to the 44th Ordinary Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights Abuja, Nigeria 14 November 2008.

Since the indictment of the Sudanese president by the prosecutor of International Criminal Court (ICC); the security service imposed a pre-censorship process which involves the appointment of a security officer attached to each newspaper who every evening reviews the text of the edition and decides which articles are to be cut or re-written, columns excised or whole pages and sections removed.

The current escalation in repressive measures against the independent media began in February 2008, immediately after the attempted coup in Chad in which the government of Chad alleged the government of Sudan was complicit.

(ST)

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  • 17 November 2008 13:27, by tayeb M. Alhassan

    Journalists have to understand that there is no absolute freedom of press and the government in turn has to understand there should not be total condemnation of press. Both sides have to agree about certain untouchable high national interests different than ugly pictures always need to be reflected before act to correct.

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    • 17 November 2008 17:20, by Maker Deng

      The censorship of press in Sudan is not a taboo,since the government in power is leads by the nitorous man who doesn,t cares about someones,life.
      Dear readers, let us understand what is means by indepenedce country.In any independence state like the Sudan,there should be freedom of press because it is where the voice of citzens is heard.Therefore the arrestment of 70 journalist is the seed of Bashir,s weaknesses and his dictatorship.Pleases sudanese police donot be like a fire flame which burn innocent grasses.Sudan need freedom of press from where we critise our government to provide what the citzens country needs otherwise the sting of a bee cause its own death

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  • 17 November 2008 17:34, by Maker Deng

    arrest 70 journalists over protest for press freedom 17 November 2008 17:20, by Maker Deng
    The censorship of press in Sudan is not a taboo,since the government in power is lead by the nitorous man who doesn,t cares about someones,life. Dear readers, let us understand what is mean by indepenedce country.In any independence state like the Sudan,there should be freedom of press because it is where the voice of citzens is heard.Therefore the arrestment of 70 journalists is the seed of Bashir,s weaknesses and his dictatorship.Please sudanese police donot be like a fire flame which burn innocent grasses.Sudan need freedom of press from where we critise our government to provide what the citzens of country need otherwise the sting of a bee cause its own death.

    repondre message

    • 18 November 2008 04:48, by Moses Kur Akech

      Hi folks!

      The undemocratic press censorship by tyrannical regime in Khartoum is not a surprise to its citizens that are being disadvantaged by dictatorial bureaucracies.

      Our country is under tyranny (dictatorship) and hence tyranny is founded thro force or coercion while democracy is founded thro consent and persuasion.

      The democratic regime values transparency and accountability in order to win civilians’ consent of which the media fundamentally functions as the light that shines so that citizens can see whether or not the regime is serving citizens’ interest. Democratic leaders lead to serve the interest of majority and take a pride when their transparent conducts are being revealed by media.

      However, the tyrannical regime, the category where Khartoum falls into does want to operate in opaqueness or darkness in order to oppress their opponents which might win people’s interest if given chance. Thus, tyrants paradoxically lead to serve their own interest by retaining power through violent tool and exploit civilians’ resources. Tyrants are extremely sensitive when their dark sides become to revelation by media. Media proprietors who dare to reveal the dark parts of tyrants can be subject to harsh prosecution.

      Hence, freedom of press is essential in the country’s struggle for democracy though it will cost alot to achieve it. It paves ways for viable democracy. It is time for outspoken figures in the SPLM and other political parties to join the fight against the major hindrance of democracy. I appreciate our folks, journalists who stood up against the regime to fight for citizens right. I know it will cost alot, but if achieved the forthcoming generations will be free from this unwanted bureaucracy. Citizens have the right to know what happens around them in order to make right decisions that touch their living. Thanks 4 taking your time 2 read this long text.

      Moses Kur

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      • 18 November 2008 09:04, by Timdor

        Dear Compatriot journalists,

        This is a disheartening news and one of the greatest offence that the security forces and the police have committed against you,the journalists but it is not a suprise and the first time to receive this kind of treatment.

        The government has it’s own interest likewise the journalists that why such issues are happening.Please watch out and do take care of yourself beside your profession until lasting just and freedom is achieved in Sudan which pave a way for a democratic government in our country.

        Remember,right is not given to people unless you fight for it so,continue with the struggle and you will be good stewards for the citizens of Sudan.

        By Timdor

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  • 19 November 2008 09:40, by kuur Deng

    Just look at it how they Sudanese are missbehaving against humanity.I wouldn’t ougth to tell you that Sudan as an African biggest nation is in cast because of the current leadership in Khartoum.
    I think those journalists are so guilt because visiting such places is like visting Daragon’s office in Indian ocean,yes you cann’t believe how mean it but Beshir and his desciples are likely to cause distruction and this is what they had in their muster plan.
    So I don’t like people like journalist and expectoriate to visits such places like Khartoum because Beshir will not allow you to expose his divilical workshop.

    Dr.William Deng in Sudan

    View online : Those journalist are so guilt

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