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Sudan summons EU envoy to protest meeting over press freedom

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October 3, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese government summoned on Wednesday European Union Ambassador in Khartoum, Jean-Michel Dumond to protest a statement his mission issued Tuesday after a meeting with Sudanese journalists on the press freedom co-organised by European and US diplomats.

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EU ambassador to Sudan Jean-Michel Dumond (EU Photo)

In a statement released after the meeting on Tuesday, the western diplomat pledged to discuss the freedom of the press with the Sudanese government pointing to the "importance in promoting and protecting human rights and democracy in Sudan especially in the coming period heading up to the 2020 elections."

"The Ministry informed the EU ambassador of "its rejection of the way in which the meeting was organized as it had exceeded the diplomatic norms and guidelines that must be adhered to," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Babikir al-Siddiq in a press statement released on Wednesday.

He added that the invitation to the meeting was selective and therefore the meeting was not with all the Sudanese journalists and their representative bodies.

Al-Siddiq said they expressed their surprise that the meeting discussed issues that have not yet been decided, such as the Press and Publication Law, which is still subject to discussion within the concerned institutions.

Sudanese authorities regularly interrogate journalists and confiscate newspapers. Further in November 2017, the Sudanese government approved a draft of an amended version of the Press and Publications Law of 2009, which would give the security apparatus power to further censor newspapers.

(ST)

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