Urgent statement Arab Coalition for Sudan and the Arab network reject constitutional violations against some journalists
In a strange phenomenon of its kind, the Sudanese Minister of Energy, Makkawi Mohamed Awad, summoned the journalist Murtada Ahmed, from (Alahramsd) newspaper, to interrogate him over publishing a story about the intention of the Ministry of Energy to free natural gas prices. A similar incident had taken place by the Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Issa Bushra, who summoned 15 journalists of those who cover the Parliament’s news. The investigation was about publication of mass resignations from the cleaning company, entrusted with cleaning services at the parliament and due to suspension of their salaries.
Although the officials acknowledged the validity of the published news, but they used their influence to put pressure on journalists in order to deny these news. This would tarnish the journalists’ image as well as it distorts their professionalism and credibility in the eyes of the readers.
The Arab Coalition for Sudan (ACS) and the Arab Network for Media crises (ANMC), as they express their rejection of this illegal behavior, they strongly condemn it, as being violation of public freedoms and freedom of the press, it also violates the rights of journalists, where press coverage is their duty, and the duty of the state officials is to enable journalists access to information. Further it is a right guaranteed by the constitution, the domestic laws and the international conventions.
While the Minister of Energy and Deputy Speaker of the Parliament are concerned with commitment and implementation of laws, they violate the law. In the meantime, the executive authority has no right to summon a journalist over his professional performance, or even interfere in his work. In fact, the aggrieved governmental officials must resort to the judiciary, rather than to practice the role of the judge, as it is the press message and role to transfer information from their sources, where they have the right as not to disclose these sources, according to the law.
The ACS and ANMC express their deep concern over the restrictions practiced by the Sudanese authorities on press: by placing it under policies of security surveillance, confiscation of journals after printing, closure and withdrawal of licenses, in addition to the continuing summonses of journalists, arrests and prosecutions.
The names of journalists who have been investigated by the Deputy Speaker of Parliament are:
Sarah Taj Alsir (Aljareeda), Mashaeir Daraj (Almustagilla), Murtada Ahmed (Alahramsd), Mayada Salah (Alsudani), Hiba Obeid ( Alintibaha), Mohammed Haj Almoaz (Akhbarelyoumsd), Sanaa Abdeen (Akhirlahza), Iman Abdul Baqi (Almeghar), Shadia Syed Ahmed (Altaghyeer), Huffyah Noor Al-Dime (Elaph), Roqia Al-Zaki (Rayaam), Enaam Ibrahim (Alakhbar), Yunus Osman (Altayar.sd) Salwa Syed Ahmed (SUNA), Shadia Amaseib (SMC).
ACS and the ANMC would like to launch a broad call for all civil society organizations, human rights defenders, politicians and journalists in order to form a broad front to defend freedoms and human rights.
Arab Coalition for Sudan and the Arab network reject constitutional violations against some journalists