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Sudanese journalists boycott sit-in to protest ban of pro-former regime group

December 21, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese journalists largely boycotted a protest, on Saturday organized by the banned Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) to denounce the decision to dissolve the federation.

The SJU and other professional federations have were dissolved on 14 December within the framework of a law providing to dismantle the former ruling party and other groups controlled by the former regime.

Over forty journalists took part in the sit-in organized by the leaders of the banned SJU on Saturday outside the premises of the federation in Khartoum.

The head of the banned group, Sadiq al-Rezaiqi, stated that the decision to dissolve the unions violates the transitional constitution and vowed to challenge it before the constitutional court.

Al Rezaiqi further said that the Constitutional Document recognizes freedom of association and that dissolving the union "is a political decision par excellence" as the government cannot interfere in the organization of professional entities.

The participants who are known for their support to the former regime chanted slogans such "No freedom without a free press".

During the 30- year era of al-Bashir rule, the Sudanese security harassed and detained journalists and confiscated independent newspapers. At the same time, the regime funded journalists supporting the regime and provided them facilities.

For his part, Mohamed Amin a member of the Preparatory Committee for the Restoration of the Press Syndicate said the banned federation is trying to conduct a battle without legitimacy after the decision to dissolve it according to the law to dismantle the former regime.

Amin further pointed to the few numbers of participants at the protest and stressed that "the SJU does not represent the journalists".

After, the collapse of the former regime, the Sudanese journalists held a meeting attended by over 300 journalists to elect a committee to reform the independent union the former regime had banned after the Islamist coup d’etat of 30 June 1989.

Earlier in December, the General Intelligence Service (GIS) decided to close two media services and an English newspaper that were established and funded by the former National Intelligence and Security Services.

(ST)