Journalists protest in Khartoum over crackdown on press freedom

KHARTOUM, Dozens of journalists marched in Khartoum to demand an end to a crackdown on press freedom amidst the most sustained challenge to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir since he took power in a 1989 coup.

Protesters have been taking to the streets frequently across Sudan since Dec. 19. The protests were initially triggered by price rises and cash shortages but evolved into demonstrations against Bashir and his National Congress Party.

Monday’s protesters carried a large banner that read Free press or no press as they walked down a main street in the Sudanese capital. They chanted journalism is the voice of the people and the revolution is the choice of the people.

Since the wave of demonstrations began, 90 journalists have been detained, according to the Sudanese Journalists’ Network, an anti-government group of journalists that organised Monday’s protest. Most have since been released, the group said.

The CPJ has also said that Sudanese authorities have tried to censor news coverage of the protests and that they have blocked access to popular social media platforms.

The Sudanese information ministry said that the state of press freedom in Sudan is good.

Opposition party newspapers are issued in Khartoum and the freedom to demonstrate is guaranteed by the constitution, said Information Minister Hassan Ismail. There is no political crisis in Sudan, but there is an economic crisis.

Source: NAM News Network