Sudanese journalists protest against draft media law

Wednesday November 15 2017

Sudanese journalists

Sudanese journalists protest in the capital Khartoum on November 15, 2017 against a proposed new press law that aims to tighten restrictions on media freedom. They are carrying banners saying "United against the new law" and "No to repression of journalists" in Arabic. PHOTO | EBRAHIM HAMID | AFP 



Dozens of Sudanese journalists Wednesday demonstrated against a media law proposed by the council of ministers.

The journalists gathered at the headquarters of the Sudanese Press and Publication Council, waving banners and calling for “freedom of expression”.

The council of ministers is currently discussing a draft media law, which contains wide amendments to the 2009 version.

The new law contains wide restrictions against journalists, especially the online and social media groups.

It also gives immense powers to the security organs to suspend publications for 15 days, as well as banning the writers from publishing their works.

The Sudanese Journalist Network (SJN) warned that the members would continue protesting until the law is discarded.

“We will not give up. We will continue lobbying against the oppressive law,” said a statement by SJN.

The journalists further called for the adoption of the Charter of Honour, already agreed between the Sudanese journalists to regulate the media.

A journalist with the Altayar newspaper, Ms Shamai Alnur, was arrested during the protests, but was released hours later.

Last February, Ms Alnur was accused of apostasy over a column she wrote about the use of condoms and the concept of the faithful in Islam.

Sudan ranks among the bottom 10 countries on media freedom, according to the international index of the Reporters Without Borders (RWB).