New York, January 22, 2024—The Committee to Protect Journalists is shocked by reports that the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a Sudanese paramilitary group, arrested journalist Haitham Dafallah and his brother Omar Dafallah, and calls for their immediate release.
On Friday, RSF soldiers arrested Dafallah, editor-in-chief of local independent news website al-Maidan, and his brother from their home in the capital, Khartoum, searched the house, and confiscated their cell phones, according to news reports.
At the time of publication, the Dafallah brothers were still in detention and the reason for their arrest had not been disclosed, a journalist with knowledge of the case told CPJ on condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
“We are deeply concerned by the RSF soldiers’ arrest of journalist Haitham Dafallah and his brother Omar from their home in Khartoum, and we call on all parties to the conflict to cease arresting journalists,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Sherif Mansour in Washington, D.C. “Haitham Dafallah and his brother must be immediately and unconditionally released.”
Separately on Thursday, RSF soldiers arrested freelance journalist Ogail Ahmed Naime from his home in Khartoum and released him over the weekend, two journalists with knowledge of the case told CPJ on condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal.
CPJ’s emails to the Sudanese Armed Forces and the RSF received no replies.