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Sudan expels London-based journalists covering deadly protests

Reporters Without Borders has warned that harassment of the media has intensified this year [Twitter]

Date of publication: 27 December, 2018

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Sudanese authorities have expelled a team of foreign journalists covering deadly protests that have rocked the economically troubled country.
Sudanese authorities have expelled a team of foreign journalists covering deadly protests that have rocked the economically troubled country.

Security forces on Tuesday summoned Adnan Jan, a journalist with the London-based Al-Araby TV, and ordered him and his crew to leave the country.

"I arrived in the capital Khartoum early on Tuesday… after my first live broadcast on the protests I was immediately summoned by the Sudanese authorities," Jan said.

"They ordered me to leave the country within 24 hours and demanded I pledge to not carry out any more journalistic work on Sudanese land," he added.

Angry crowds have taken to the streets in Khartoum and several other cities since 19 December when the government tripled the price of bread.

The channel's director Abbas Nasser told The New Arab's Arabic-language service that his crew has covered the protests objectively and has hosted officials from the ruling party.

"We call on the Sudanese government to reverse this decision because it will only suppress the reality of the events," Nasser said.

Al-Araby TV is part of the Fadaat Media network, of which The New Arab is also a member.

A network of Sudanese journalists went on strike on Thursday in the wake of deadly protests, while opposition groups called for further rallies.

"We declare a three day strike from December 27 to protest against the violence unleashed by the government against demonstrators," said the Sudanese Journalists' Network which advocates free speech.

The protests began last week, initially over rising prices and shortages of food and fuel, but later escalated into calls for President Omar al-Bashir to step down.

Amnesty International said it had "credible reports" that Sudanese police have killed 37 protesters since the protests began.

News website The Sudan Tribune has reported that security forces have detained local journalists covering the protests and subjected to "beatings and abuse".

Reporters Without Borders has warned that harassment of the media has intensified this year, with authorities arresting 18 journalists in January covering opposition protests.

Sudan ranked 174th in the World Press Freedom Index run by RSF, trailing countries like Saudi Arabia and Somalia.

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