Sudan : RSF condemns woman reporter’s continuing detention

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls for the immediate release of Amal Habani, the only one of around 15 journalists arrested last week who is still held. They were arrested on 16 and 17 January while covering protests in Khartoum and the adjoining city of Omdurman against an unprecedented increase in the price of bread.

A reporter for the Al-Taghyir news website who was awarded an Amnesty International prize for her coverage of human rights, Amal Habani was arrested on 16 January while covering a demonstration in Khartoum called by the Communist Party.

According to the information obtained by RSF, she is still being held without any formal charge in a women’s prison in Omdurman, located just to the northwest of Khartoum, and she has not been allowed access to a lawyer.

This latest violation of her rights follows the arrests and convictions to which she was subjected in 2011, 2016 and 2017. According to RSF’s sources, she had been mistreated while detained.

The continuing detention of Amal Habani is unacceptable and we demand her immediate release,” RSF editor-in-chief Virginie Dangles said. “Her arrest and the arrests of her now released colleagues were a flagrant breach of international law and testify to a desire on the part of the government to openly restrict the media’s freedom to cover protests.”

Five of the journalists arrested last week were freed on 16 January, the same day as their arrest, after being held for just a few hours. They included the BBC and Al-Arabiya TV correspondents. Seven others, including the Reuters and AFP correspondents, were released on 21 January.

Sudan remains near the bottom of RSF’s World Press Freedom Index, in which it is currently ranked 174th out of 180 countries.

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Updated on 25.01.2018