Sudanese journalist held without charge

New York, June 13, 2014–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the detention of Hassan Ishaq, reporter for the privately owned daily Al-Jarida, who has been held without charge by Sudanese security forces since Tuesday.

Ashraf Abd al-Aziz, Al-Jarida‘s editorial director, told CPJ he believed Ishaq had been arrested in connection with his coverage of a speech on Saturday by a leader of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party. He said Ishaq had traveled to Al-Nahud city to cover the speech. When it was over, Sudanese security forces arrested the party leader.

“If Sudanese authorities have no charges to file against Hassan Ishaq, he should be released immediately,” said Sherif Mansour, CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “We call on the government to allow reporters to do their job without fear of detention or harassment.”

Ishaaq is being held at Al-Nahud Prison, in Al-Nahud city, according to the local press freedom group Journalists for Human Rights.

This month, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called on rebel groups and opposition parties, including the Sudanese Congress Party, to engage in talks to end war and restore democracy in the country. Many opposition parties have rejected the prospect of dialogue, raising concern about the government’s “mismanagement of the Darfur region, accusing it of killing civilians during a recent surge of violence there,” reports said.

In a separate case, the privately owned daily Al-Saiha issued a statement on May 29 that said at least 10 of its journalists had been summoned for interrogation in recent months in connection with a series of articles on official corruption. On May 28, state security agents raided the offices, confiscated documents, and briefly detained the paper’s editor-in-chief, the statement said.