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AFEX condemns Sudan’s hunt on journalism 

On April 2, 2024, Sudan’s Acting Information Minister Graham Abdel-Qadir issued a directive suspending the operations of Al Arabiya News channel, Al Hadath TV, and Sky News Arabia, citing unprofessionalism and transparency, and a failure to renew their licences.

According to media reports, in the last week of March, Sky News Arabia channel aired a video report alleging the involvement of Islamic State insurgents providing support to the Sudanese army. This was refuted by the government calling the report “unprofessional.”

Although state authorities have indicated that the media outlets have failed to renew their licences, Al Arabiya’s Sudan bureau chief has refuted the claim by asserting that licences for Al Arabiya News channel and Al Hadath TV have been renewed periodically.

This is a clear violation of freedom of expression and freedom of the press amid a raging war where information is critical to the public interest. The level of atrocities committed against journalists, especially female journalists cannot be accounted for by virtue of compromised reporting.

The ongoing war in Sudan between the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) and the Sudan army has displaced 8 million people and killed more than 13,000 people according to the UN, and has created the world’s biggest displacement crisis.

State authorities in Sudan must recognise and stand in solidarity with journalists and media broadcasters who are risking their lives to provide information for the country and outside the country.

The African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX) urges the relevant state authorities in Sudan support the work of journalists and other media organisations present in the country, and most importantly ensure that they have adequate protection as they report on the ongoing war in the country.

We firmly believe that journalism is critical to restoring peace to Sudan.

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