Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed

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Attacks on the Press   |   Sudan

Attacks on the Press 2009: Sudan

Top Developments
•  Government continues to impose vast censorship.
•  New press law falls short of international standards.

Key Statistic
9: Men executed in editor’s murder. Observers call it a miscarriage of justice.

Sudanese journalists worked amid political uncertainty and severe restrictions. Pervasive official censorship restricted journalists from closely reporting on the tumultuous events of 2009: The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, sporadic fighting continued in the devastated region of Darfur, and a spike in ethnic violence in South Sudan sparked fears of renewed warfare. Security agents prevented coverage of topics deemed to be sensitive, including Darfur, the ICC, human rights issues, official corruption, the expulsion of aid agencies, and state censorship itself. The legislature passed a stringent new press law, dashing hopes that the repressive 2004 press law would be replaced with legislation up to international standards. Though the government announced an end to prior censorship in September, editors were unconvinced this would lead to significant change. Many local journalists feared that official regulations and widespread self-censorship could stifle hopes for a free and fair campaign in the lead-up to historic national elections scheduled for 2010.

February 16, 2010 12:14 AM ET


Attacks on the Press   |   Sudan

Attacks on the Press in 2008: Sudan

Sudan's Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which formally ended a decades-long civil war between north and south, officially protects press freedom. However, Sudanese officials ignored these guarantees in practice. In February, the government reinstated formal censorship of the print news media, instructing local editors to submit each issue for pre-approval. Throughout the year, authorities confiscated newspapers and harassed journalists for attempting to report on sensitive topics, such as the conflict in Darfur, the Sudanese security forces, and official censorship itself. The government also used more subtle methods to control content, such as withholding government advertisements and imposing strict licensing that allows for the suspension of critical publications on administrative technicalities.

Attacks on the Press   |   Sudan

Attacks on the Press 2007: Sudan


Despite free speech protections built into Sudan’s 2005 interim constitution, authorities operated as if a state of emergency were still in force. Newspaper suspensions, criminal charges, and detentions were a routine part of working as a journalist in Sudan. When trying to cover one of the world’s biggest stories—the genocide in Darfur—reporters faced high barriers.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Paper banned for reporting on murdered editor

New York, February 1, 2007—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the indefinite closure today of an independent Sudanese daily for publishing an article about the beheading of an editor last September.

A state prosecutor imposed an immediate ban on the prominent Arabic-language Al-Sudani which carried an article on January 31 discussing the murder of Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed, editor-in-chief of the private daily Al-Wifaq, in violation of an official ban on writing about the case.
February 1, 2007 12:00 PM ET


Alerts   |   Sudan

Authorities intensify newspaper censorship and seizures

New York, September 14, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by increasing censorship of opposition and independent newspapers in Sudan. The press climate in the country has deteriorated in recent months against a backdrop of continuing ethnic killings in the western region of Darfur, and growing political unrest and protests over price rises.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Editor kidnapped and beheaded

New York, September 6, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists deplores the kidnapping and beheading in Sudan of a newspaper editor. Masked gunmen bundled Mohammed Taha Mohammed Ahmed, editor-in-chief of the private daily Al-Wifaq, into a car outside his home in east Khartoum late Tuesday. Police found his severed head next to his body today in the south of the capital. His hands and feet were bound, according to a CPJ source and news reports.

Alerts   |   Sudan

Sudanese reporter held for secret reasons

New York, October 5, 2006—The Committee to Protect Journalists is deeply concerned that Sudanese security forces have held Abu Obeida Abdallah, a reporter for the pro-government daily Al-Ra’y Al-Aam, incommunicado and without charge since Friday.

“No evidence has been disclosed to suggest Abu Obeida Abdallah has committed a crime,” CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon said. “We call on the Sudanese authorities to release Abdallah at once.”

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