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Sudan protest hub: Foreign journalists thrown out, papers seized

By January 22, 2019 51 0

The Sudanese government on Monday withdrew work permit for a number of foreign journalists working in the country, multiple sources disclosed.

The affected journalists are from Qatar-based Al Jazeera, Saudi-owned Al Arabiyya and Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency.

  • Saadeldine Hassan of Al-Arabiya and Al-Hadath
  • Burham Abd al-Hameed and Mahmud Hajjaj of Anadolu Agency
  • Osama Sidahmed, Ahmed al-Reheid, Badawi Basheer of Aljazeera Arabic
    Reports also indicated that authorities confiscated editions of the al-Tayar, al-Jareeda, al-Ba’th, al-Midan newspapers and ordered the suspension of journalist Suhayr Abd al-Rahim over his writings.

Protests meanwhile continue to rock parts of the country calling for the resignation of the government. President Al-Bashir has continued to stress that polls scheduled for 2020 were the only way he could be ousted from power.

January 19 – 20, 2019: Police – protesters clash at funeral

Embattled Sudanese president Omar Al-Bashir has reiterated his call for protesters to realise that the only credible way to change government is via the polls.

He has stressed this point in previous addresses at pro-government rallies held to counter the dogged anti-government protests that broke out since last December.

The Arabiyya channel quoted Bashir as saying: “The forces that are against Islam and Sudan do not support the stability of our country.”

“The doctor who was killed in Khartoum was killed by infiltrators. We have arrested rebels in Darfur who admitted to killing protesters. Investigations have proven that the death of protesters has been executed by infiltrators who want chaos.”“

“We tell the youth that the country is your country and the future is your future. Next year’s elections are not far off and we will respect the people’s choice.”

“The youth went out to express themselves but sabotaging forces hid among them and created chaos.”

Meanwhile protests continue to roil parts of the country with its attendant crackdown by members of the security forces using tear gas and live bullets to disperse protesters.

January 18, 2019: Police – protesters clash at funeral

Sudanese police shot live ammunition on Friday as mourners gathered outside the home of a 60-year-old protester who died from a gunshot wound sustained during anti-government demonstrations, a Reuters witness said.

Around 5,000 mourners turned out for the funeral and burial of Moawia Othman, who was shot late on Thursday during demonstrations against the 30-year rule of President Omar al-Bashir which are now into their fifth week.

There were no immediate reports of casualties. Police could not immediately be reached for comment.

Police opened fire after some mourners pelted them with rocks and overturned a police car, the Reuters witness said.

Mourners also blocked a main street in the Burri district of the capital Khartoum with stones and chanted “There is no God but God!” and “Martyr! Martyr!”. Several were wailing and crying and some were carrying Sudanese flags.

After Othman had been buried and the weekly Muslim Friday prayers began at noon, the mourners dwindled to hundreds who began chanting “Down, that’s it”, which has become the slogan of protesters signalling their main demand for Bashir to step down.

They also chanted “Freedom! Freedom!” and “A million martyrs for a new era!” Some stood on the overturned police car.

As the atmosphere in the area grew more tense, police and other security forces pulled out of Burri completely, leaving no security presence on its streets.

Across the River Nile in the neighbouring city of Omdurman, police fired tear gas at dozens of demonstrators as they left a mosque in the Wad Nubawi district, witnesses said

Security forces have at times used live ammunition to disperse protesters. The official death toll in five weeks of protests stands at 24, including two security forces personnel. Rights groups say the figure may be nearly twice as high.


January 17, 2019: Top journalist rearrested amid dogged protests

Sudanese intelligence agency officials have rearrested one of the country’s famed journalists, Faisal Mohammed Salih, reports indicate. Organizers have also confirmed to the AFP news agency that two people were killed in today’s protests.

NISS officials are said to have detained Faisal and two other journalists from the offices of the Al-Youm Al-Tali newspaper. Faisal was previously arrested on January 3 and held for about two days before his release without charge.

Explainer: Will Bashir fall at the hands of relentless protests?

The exact circumstances surrounding the latest arrests are yet to be established but it is believed to be linked with the current protests. The government has a notorious reputation for clamping down on the media.

As of today, protests continue to roll on in parts of the country as has been the case since mid-December 2018. Areas hit by today’s rallies included the capital Khartoum, North Kordofan and Dafur regions.

There are also reports that security forces fired tear gas as usual to disperse protesters whiles some witnesses reported the use of live rounds during protests in the city of Burri.

January 16, 2019: Top political actor held, protests roll on

Mahmoud Al-Gamal, an aide to a former ally of president Al-Bashir has been arrested according to reports.

Mahmoud’s boss, Dr. Ghazi Salaheldeen served in the government between 1989 and 2013 when he quit over mistreatment of protesters. He currently leads a coalition of opposition coalitions.

He joins the list of former administration officials calling for an end to the regime and for the installation of a transitional, democratic government. The president has rubbished calls to step down, he says he will only do so if he loses elections slated for 2020.

Meanwhile a new day brought new set of protests in parts of the country.

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