The National Press
Council's lead attorney charged Warrag on Sunday under the Sudanese
Penal Code with “waging war
against the state,” in connection with an article published on April 6 in
the independent daily Ajras al-Huriya, the journalist told CPJ.
Warrag is the former editor of Ajras
al-Huriya. If convicted, he could face up to one year in prison. The National Press Council is
Warrag’s opinion piece expressed support for an election boycott
called by Yasser Arman, the leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement. The
journalist also alleged that the ruling National Congress Party was rigging the
presidential, legislative, and local elections. Monday was the first day of
“The charges against Al-Haj Ali Warrag make a mockery
of the Sudanese authorities’ stated commitment to free expression by
persecuting a critical voice,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa
Warrag told CPJ that the charges were clearly “political persecution and has nothing to do with the law. “These elections are supposed to mark a new democratic era but instead the government proved once again that it will not tolerate criticisms of its politics and practices,” he said.