New York, November 15, 2021 – In response to news reports that Sudanese security forces yesterday arrested Al-Musalmi al-Kabbashi, the Khartoum bureau chief of the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued the following statement calling for his release:
“We strongly condemn the arrest of journalist Al-Musalmi al-Kabbashi, and call on Sudanese authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Senior Researcher Justin Shilad. “Authorities must ensure that journalists and news outlets can freely report the news during this critical moment in the country’s history.”
Security forces raided al-Kabbashi’s home in Khartoum early yesterday morning, according to a statement by Al-Jazeera and news reports. As of today, he remains in detention and authorities have not disclosed any reason for his arrest, according to a representative of the Sudanese Journalists Network, a local rights group, who spoke with CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal. CPJ emailed Al-Jazeera for comment but did not immediately receive any reply.
The day before al-Kabbashi’s arrest, protests erupted across Sudan against the country’s military takeover, according to news reports. The military seized power and dissolved Sudan’s civilian government on October 25, according to those reports.
Separately, on November 13, authorities in South Darfur State arrested Abdel Monem Madibo, a reporter at local independent news website Darfur 24, while he was covering a protest, according to a report by Darfur 24 and the person who spoke to CPJ, who added that Madibo was later released without charge.
CPJ emailed the Sudanese Justice Ministry, its General Intelligence Service, the Culture and Information Ministry, and the military for comment, but did not immediately receive any replies.