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Sudanese court sentences female journalist to four months in prison

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File photo for Amal Habani speaking to France 24 on 6 May 2016
July 10, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - A court in Khartoum on Monday has ordered journalist and civil activist Amal Habani to pay 10,000 pounds (SDG) fine or serve four months in prison after being convicted on charges of obstructing public official while performing his job duty.

An agent from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) filed charges against Habani claiming she refused to follow his orders while he was covering the trial of a group of rights activists last November.

At the time, the non-governmental Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) network said the NISS agents beat and detained journalist Amal Habani after she left a courtroom in Khartoum where she attended the trial of a group of civil society activists.

JHR quoted Habani as saying her car was intercepted by the NISS agents while she was leaving the courtroom, pointing she was detained and her mobile phone was seized under the pretext that she took pictures of NISS agents.

“A NISS officer slapped me on my face, and I was released after two hours of detention and they gave me back my mobile phone,” she said.

Habani added the security agent didn’t flash his NISS badge, saying she demanded him to show a proof that he belongs to the security apparatus as required by the law.

Dozens of activists and opposition leaders made moves to pay the fine before Habani being transferred to the Women Prison in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman.

However, Habani’s husband, Shawqi Abdel-Azim, told Sudan Tribune that his wife declined to pay the fine and refused to allow the activists to pay as well, choosing to serve the four-month jail term.

(ST)

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