TAEF in a press statement copied to ghanabusinessnews.com, says it is shocked and also concerned about the safety of the journalists who are reportedly being held in unknown locations with no access to family or legal assistance.
The African Editors Forum (TAEF) is shocked and condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the arrest of journalists by Sudanese authorities for reporting on protests about, amongst other, the price of bread.
“TAEF equally condemns the arbitrary confiscation of newspapers by law enforcement authorities. Agents of the Sudanese government’s National Intelligence and Security Services confiscated, for the second day, copies of the Al Jareeda newspaper,” the statement said.
The group is calling for the immediate release of the following journalists: Khalid Abdel Aziz of Reuters, Al Muneim Abu Idris of the AFP, Shawgi Abdel El Aziem of Al Shourog TV, Rashan Oushi, a freelance journalist, Imtinan El Radhi, a trainee journalist, Amel Habbani, a freelance journalist and Majdi Al Ajab of Al Watan newspaper.
“These journalists should not have been arrested for doing their work in the first place. They should be released immediately without any condition. The government of Sudan should immediately stop the harassment of the media and allow for media in Sudan to publish and broadcast without fear or favour,” TAEF chairperson, Jovial Rantao was quoyed as saying.
The group further expressed deep solidarity with Sudanese journalists who continue to work under difficult conditions.
According to TAEF, the journalists recently demonstrated against proposed new laws designed to tighten media freedom in Sudan. Among others, the proposed law would allow the statutory Sudan press council to ban a newspaper from publishing for 15 days without a court order.
“TAEF calls on the government of Sudan scrap the draft law and to dismantle the National Council for Press and Publications. TAEF further calls on the African Union to exert pressure on Sudan and other African governments to remove, from their statuette books, laws that are inimical to media freedom<” the statement added.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi