Journalists arrested over protest outside Sudanese parliament

October 15, 2018 (KHARTOUM) – Security authorities in Sudan detained a number journalists for several hours before to release them, Monday.

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The Sudanese Parliament building

The journalists demonstrated outside the parliament to protest the ban of a colleague from covering the sessions.

The security agents dispersed a protest by the journalists of Al-Akhbar newspaper in front of the National Assembly in Omdurman, before to arrest nine protesters.

The newspaper organised the protest after the parliament officials systematically targeted its reporter Murtada Ahmed and prevented him from covering the sessions.

Ten Members of Parliament from the independents’ caucus participated in the protest.

Murtada Ahmed told Sudan Tribune that the security service took him after dispersing the protest to a detention center in Omdurman with members of the editorial board including Nizar Sayed Ahmed the general editor, Ahmed Hamdan head of news section, Abdel Rahman Al-Aqab head of the political section, Abdel Rahman an editor, Shawqi Gamar Aldolla a designer and Ibrahim Nugd Allah a photographer.

Also were detained Omar al-Kabbashi, Haji Abdel Rahman al-Moz who are from other newspapers.

According to Murtada Ahmed, the security agents interrogated him and others for about an hour and kept them in detention for additional three hours before the intervention of Omdurman Commissioner Magdi Abdel Aziz who requested the release of detained journalists.

Abdel Aziz who is a member in different discussions groups with the Sudanese journalists further promised to intervene personally to contain the crisis between the parliament officials and Al-Akhbar newspaper.

For his part, the head of the news section of the newspaper Ahmed Hamdan said they would escalate the issue and file a case before the Constitutional Court against the ban because it violates the law and the Constitution and the status of the Parliament.

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Last year several disputes occurred between parliament authorities and the press.

In August 2017, the reporters boycotted the parliament activities in solidarity with their colleague Mourtada Ahmed, who at the time was a reporter of Al-Ahram Al-Youm newspaper.

Also, the General Secretariat of the National Assembly sued Al-Jareeda and Al-Ahram Al-Youm newspapers for publishing statements by Badria Suleiman the deputy speaker expressing her rejection of the appointment of a third deputy speaker.

In addition last July, the parliament authorities issued a decision banning newspapers and satellite TV journalists from covering their activities after a two-day boycott by the journalists to protest the ban on another female colleague from entering the National Assembly.