Sudan: Attacks on media freedom amid military coup

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The military seized power in Sudan on 25 October, dissolving the eastern African country’s transitional government while ousted Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other senior officials were put under house arrest.

According to media reports, the military forces have also targeted several journalists in a series of arrests. On Monday, Bloomberg/Al Sharq correspondent Maha Al-Talb and her crew were arrested and held for two hours in the country’s capital city, Khartoum.

On the same day, military officials stormed the headquarters of the Sudanese state radio and TV broadcaster and arrested several of its workers.

Joint military forces have stormed the TV and radio headquarters in Omdurman and detained a number of staff,” the ministry of information said in a statement posted on Facebook.

The uprising military has also disrupted the free access to internet, mobile services and radio stations.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets to protest against the military coup.

Widespread censorship over media in Sudan

The crackdown on journalists and unions has been a recurring event in Sudan in recent years. In August 2020, The Sudanese authorities issued an arrest warrant for the President of Sudanese Journalists’ Union following their decision to dissolve the union in 2019, while in December 2020 84 broadcast workers were fired over alleged loyalty to the former regime.

The Sudanese authorities also blocked more than 30 news websitesin the run up to protests demanding the resignation of the government in July 2021.
The IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The military must stop the crackdown on media and reestablish the free flow of information and access to the internet. The IFJ will closely monitor all the incidents against journalists to ensure press freedom and a free access to information in such a critical moment for Sudan.”

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