Sudanese authorities detained Sadiq al-Rizaigi, the editor-in-chief of privately owned newspaper Al-Sayha and head of the Sudanese Journalists’ Union, on July 24, 2019, according to AFP and Sudanese broadcaster Radio Dabanga. He was held without charge until he was released on July 29, according to the Sudan Tribune and the Sudanese Journalists’ Union.
According to the union, authorities did not give any reasons for al-Rizaigi’s arrest. AFP quoted Awad Jad al-Sayid, a senior journalist at the newspaper, as saying, “We do not know where he is being held or the reasons for his detention.”
Al-Rizaigi’s detention came as part of a broader spate of arrests by the ruling Transitional Military Council that included Sudanese Joint Chiefs of Staff head General Hashem Abdel Mottalib and several officers from the country’s National Intelligence and Security Service, as well as a host of current political party leaders and former senior officials from ousted President Omar al-Bashir’s government; the military announced their arrests on July 24, according to AFP. On July 11, the Transitional Military Council had announced that it foiled a coup attempt, according to The Associated Press.
CPJ was not able to determine who was responsible for al-Rizaigi’s arrest and detention. Journalists previously detained in Sudan were typically arrested by agents affiliated with the National Intelligence and Security Service, CPJ has reported. According to Al-Jazeera, the Sudanese Army was responsible for the arrests associated with the alleged failed coup.
CPJ’s emails to the National Intelligence and Security Service and the Sudanese Ministry of Defense requesting comment on the reasons for al-Rizaigi’s detention, as well as any charges he may be facing, were not immediately answered.
Separately, unknown assailants raided the newspaper of the Sudanese Baath Party, El-Baath el-Sudani, on July 29, 2019, according to Radio Dabanga and the Sudanese newspaper Al-Tagheer. The assailants ransacked the office and destroyed equipment, Radio Dabanga reported, citing a statement from the paper. Radio Dabanga and Al-Tagheer added that several people tried to break into the house of the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, Mohamed Widaa, on July 24.