Journalist remains in detention

New York, August 6, 2003—The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is deeply troubled that Sudanese free-lance journalist Youssef al-Bashir Moussa, a contributor to the private daily Al-Sahafa, has been jailed for more than a week.

Editors at Al-Sahafa told CPJ that the paper ran a story by Moussa on July 28 reporting that several students were killed in a car accident during military training in southwestern Sudanese province of Darfur, where clashes between government forces and rebels have recently occurred.

Editors later learned the story was inaccurate and ran a correction.

Security forces detained Moussa the following day, July 29. Al-Sahafa editor Adil al-Baz told CPJ that his colleagues had contacted local officials who said that he would be released but were not given a specific date.

In May, Moussa was imprisoned for nearly three weeks after he reported that the Sudanese president was considering firing the governors of the three states of Darfur.

In an unrelated incident on July 29, security forces seized that day’s edition of the paper because of another article about talks between rebels and the government in Darfur, which al-Baz said authorities did not want covered.

“Journalists reporting the news in good faith occasionally make errors. The paper has corrected it, and that should be the end of the matter,” said CPJ deputy director Joel Simon. “Jailing journalists is unjust and unwarranted.”