Smoke rises over Khartoum, Sudan, in June 2023, as the Sudanese army and paramilitary Rapid Support Forces fought in the capital. RSF soldiers took journalist Tarek Abdallah from his home in Khartoum to an unknown location in May 2024. (Photo: AP)

CPJ calls for immediate release of Sudanese journalist Tariq Abdallah

New York, June 3, 2024 — The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by reports that the Sudanese paramilitary group Rapid Support Forces (RSF) detained journalist Tariq Abdallah almost two weeks ago, and calls for his immediate release.

“CPJ strongly denounces the Rapid Support Forces’ detention of Sudanese journalist Tariq Abdallah and finds it unacceptable that RSF has not disclosed where he is being held,” said CPJ Program Director Carlos Martínez de la Serna. “The RSF must immediately and unconditionally release Abdallah and ensure he is returned home safely.”

RSF soldiers took Abdallah, editor-in-chief of independent newspaper Al-Ahram al-Youm, from his home in the capital, Khartoum, to an unknown location on May 18, according to news reports and a local journalist who is following the case and spoke to CPJ on the condition of anonymity, citing fear of reprisal. On the same day, the RSF soldiers returned to search Abdallah’s home, confiscating his cell phone.

Abdallah’s arrest was revealed in a Friday statement by local trade union Sudanese Journalists Syndicate, which condemned Abdallah’s arrest and said it held the RSF responsible for the journalist’s safety.

CPJ’s emails to the RSF about Abdallah’s arrest received no replies.

Since the beginning of the civil war between Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the RSF in April 2023, journalists have been killed, injured, harassed, arrested, and displaced.