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