Home | News    Wednesday 9 May 2012

Prominent Sudan journalist detained over comments on border fighting


May 8, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Faisal Mohamed Salih, a Sudanese journalist, was detained on Tuesday by agents of the National Security and Intelligence Services (NISS) after being harassed for weeks over comments he made on fighting in the country’s border state of South Kordofan, Sudan Tribune has learned.

FILE PHOTO - Sudanese journalist Faisal Mohamed Salih (Deutsche Welle/K. Danetzk)

He was released Tuesday evening with security agents telling him he has to return on Wednesday morning, following the same pattern that he has been ordered to follow for the past few weeks.

Prior to the arrest, which took place at his home in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, Salih spent almost three weeks complying with NISS orders to report daily to their office near Shendi bus station in Khartoum North.

He was first summoned by the NISS on 24 April for what turned out to be an investigation into comments he made four days earlier during an interview with the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera Arabic TV.

The subject of the interview was Khartoum’s allegations that neighbouring South Sudan was actively supporting attacks by the rebel coalition Sudanese Revolutionary Forces (SRF) in South Kordofan.

In the interview, Faisal suggested that Khartoum was using South Sudan as a scapegoat for its failure to confront the root causes of South Kordofan’s rebellion, which he attributed to unimplemented provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the then north and south Sudan.

Faisal opined that the Sudanese government should seek a negotiated settlement to the crisis in the region, and warned of humanitarian and political consequences if it remains committed to a military solution.

Sudanese president Omer Hassan Al-Bashir has rejected talks with the rebels in the past and pledged to crush the rebellion of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- North (SPLM-N) in South Kordofan and Blue Nile.

SPLM-N rebels and their allies among the Darfur rebel groups, particularly after South Sudan’s attack and occupation of Heglig in April, are accused of being mercenaries used by the South Sudanese government to put pressure Khartoum during the talks over outstanding post-secession issues.

In a message he sent on 7 May to human rights activists and posted on a number of Sudanese websites, Faisal said that on his first day of investigation, which lasted until midnight, NISS agents said that he should not have made such comments to foreign media. They further charged that some of the comments he made were “inappropriate” and that he should observe caution when speaking to international press.

He was later ordered to report on daily basis to the NISS office until the investigation is complete. The Sudanese journalist said NISS people told him they want to continue their "dialogue" with him,

For the next 14 days, Salih said he kept coming to the NISS office where he would wait for hours at the reception without any investigations.

“It then became clear to me that the purpose is just to humiliate me, and hold me up from doing my work as a kind of a hidden punishment that is unjustifiable and has no basis in law” his message reads.

The journalist added that he later resolved not to turn up on Tuesday as ordered, a decision that apparently led to his arrest.

Faisal is no stranger to confrontations with security apparatus. In May 2011, he was sued along with other journalists by the NISS for criticising the alleged rape of a female activist by NISS agents. During the first years of the regime he was detained for several months after which he left the country to Cairo where he remained in exile for many years.

His arrest has quickly elicited condemnation from local and global rights groups. Amnesty International (AI) issued a call for urgent action and warned that he is "at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment."

AI went on to demand the Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Faisal.

Sudan Change Now, a civil society group, and the African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies also issued statements calling for the immediate release of Faisal and other imprisoned journalists and activists.

Security authorities in Sudan are known for targeting press freedom through a number of tactics, including confiscating whole editions of newspapers after they have been printed and instigation of legal proceedings against journalists.

Most recently, the NISS reportedly began banning individual journalists from writing. According to Reem Abbas Shawkat, a Sudanese journalist and blogger, there are currently 12 journalists banned by the NISS.

Although the NISS officially ceased to practice direct, pre-printing censorship on newspapers, it sometimes orders chief editors via sms text messages not to report on certain events in the next day’s edition.

On 3 May, as the world celebrated World Press Freedom day, AI issued a report noting intensification of press repression in Sudan since the beginning in January last year and the wave of popular uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East.

The report noted that “Since May 2011, the Sudanese authorities have shut down 15 newspapers, confiscated more than 40 newspaper editions, arrested eight journalists and banned two from writing, seriously curtailing freedom of expression.”


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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 9 May 2012 06:15, by zulu

    salih, you are a free man in world of corrupt officials. Eveybody knows that cpa was a document to resolve the entire sudanese issues. but the ncp, because they wanted to secure their regime, opted to let south sudan go, by not making unity attractive. they opted to annul all pending issues on cpa

    repondre message

    • 9 May 2012 08:20, by Xeno

      Mosquitoes in kartuom are no better than the neanderthals.. Now you can’t even say I saw Beshier in the resturant, or you will be arrested. pathetic. I am glad south sudanese are no part of this shit anymore.

      repondre message

      • 9 May 2012 13:06, by Thiang Geka

        The world Press Freedom day was celebrated on the 3rd of this month, yet Bashir is still detaining Journalists. Almighty Father!! Come and rescue Faisal, Ngor Arol, James Okuk and all their colleagues in the PRESS from Bashir’s men.

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    • 9 May 2012 08:23, by Kurnyel

      our forces will soon bomb juba

      repondre message

      • 9 May 2012 09:39, by Madit

        Fuck you who do you think will bomb Juba? you cowardice president will not even try to do it man he knew President Kiir very well. try and you will see us in Khartoum

        repondre message

      • 9 May 2012 10:42, by Lango2010

        If your mouth couldn’t construct productive ideas please try you ass i think it will do better,
        we talking about arrested reporter and you motherfucker is talk about booming Juba
        you are like moving coffin, senseless, and barbaric idiot of the day
        shame on you, i think your parent met to for produce you when they were in the world of dead

        repondre message

        • 9 May 2012 10:45, by Lango2010

          next time learn how to talk in public affairs this site is for elite and Nationalist not any fool and bitch can just puor rubbish

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      • 9 May 2012 18:42, by Black Spear

        Kurnyel u r mad.How come u deficate in the plat u eat in it.For us we r people of few words, what we ’ll do to kartoum we can’t communicated before it’s not done but u shall see very soon what ’ll happen in ur assess criminals.

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      • 10 May 2012 11:50, by BM-21

        Kurnyel( Kurliel)
        you don,tknow man that we have power to bomb Khartuom we are just respecting the human right, you try again to bomb Unity state you will not sleep in the N sudan whole.!!!

        repondre message

    • 9 May 2012 13:03, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      There are the real Journalist who can tell fact,salih is among the few sudanese,Khartoum has fail to implement all what is in the CPA,the three protocals South Kordofan,Blue Nile State,and Abyei,there were no what Kartoum do call as rebel,they are the one who creat all these,Salih God help you,truth will set you free,incase of any defeat by the Darfur Rebel or SPLA-N,immediately acuse Juba


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    • 9 May 2012 17:37, by Ajok Reech

      Sudanese people will rally their support behind you in whatever necessary mean they have, telling the truth is part of our daily life. keep telling them, the truth even if they will kill you, Bashir is using South Sudan for sure. His days are numbered. shame on him and his NISS

      repondre message

      • 9 May 2012 17:38, by Ajok Reech

        It’s my prayers that you are released and safely

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    • 10 May 2012 14:04, by codewizards

      You are 100% right Zulu. If Bashir and NCP would have built hospitals, roads, schools, agriculture in S. Sudan, and all human basic needs during the CPA (2005-2011), Sudan would have not been divided. I’m a civilian and I have no side whether SPLM or NCP. I just need the basic needs from the government and I have to support that Party. Bashir failed to do that with his NCP.

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  • 9 May 2012 08:24, by Thomas Ader

    you were arrested because your mother teach you tell the trus but the government in Khartoum do not want some one who can tell the true, so this is why you are victim of reality.

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  • 9 May 2012 08:46, by Abraham

    What a hero this journalist is??? Faisal, keep telling NCP thugs the truth and REAL NATIONALISTS will praise you as a hero. There will never be military solution to Sudan’s problems. National criminal party must sit down with Sudan’s rebel otherwise Sudanese will lives with anxiety for ages

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  • 9 May 2012 09:41, by Ker.


    Bashir Govt is a confused Govt led by criminals wanted by ICC
    plz I beg you don,t risk yourself since you are learned and productive individual in the society.plz leave the dying horse alone.

    repondre message

  • 9 May 2012 19:20, by Zionist

    Poor Salih is living in a police state run by NCP thugs, and is jailed for telling the truth to their faces. Salih must stick to his guns since that regime is foundering and will soon be history. However, Salih the unsung hero is putting his life and his family in danger by confronting those criminals because they’ll try to silence him any means neccessary.

    repondre message

  • 9 May 2012 21:20, by Born-to-Rule


    You’re right, the south knew it also. "Khartoum was using South Sudan as a scapegoat for its failure to confront the root causes of South Kordofan’s rebellion, which he attributed to unimplemented provisions of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the then north and south Sudan". You have done your homework. You’re welcome to move to the south anytime and day.

    repondre message

  • 9 May 2012 21:59, by BM Bol

    Telling the truth in Sudan is a major crime. Most Sudanese including their president Bashir are living delusional and those who dare to tell them the truth is subjected to harshest criminal punishment or even death.

    repondre message

  • 28 July 2012 17:33, by danaray79

    Thanks to a brilliant effort in publishing your article. One can be more informative as this. There are many things I can know only after reading your wonderful article. Thesis Writing.

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