Sudanese journalists protests for press freedom

(KHARTOUM) - Dozens of journalists in the Sudanese capital on Monday staged a peaceful demonstration as they held banners calling for press freedom and the fall-down of the regime.

The protest was organised at the initiative of the Sudanese journalists Network (SJNET) which is a member of the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), the coordinator of the anti-government protests for more than three months.

The SJNET is a shadow organization and not recognized by the Sudanese government which control the Sudanese Journalists' Union.

The participants gathered in the Arabi market in central Khartoum without previous announcement and then they were joined by the public present in the area.

The protesters called for the end of the crackdown on the press and the release of the editor-in-chief of the Al-Tayyar newspaper Osman Mirghani, who was arrested on 22 February after criticizing the declaration of the state of emergency by President Omer al-Bashir during an interview with the Abu Dhabi-based Sky News Arabia.

Also, the journalists participating in the protest organized a public meeting in which they stressed that the press supports the street and that it was the voice of the people and not a government propaganda tool.

The security authorities impose strict control over daily newspapers and prevent them from highlighting the protest movement demanding the departure of al-Bashir's regime.

The journalists ended their protest in less than an hour before the intervention of the security forces.

The Network said in a statement released after the demonstration that it had stunned the regime by organizing the first undeclared protest in central Khartoum.

The SPA used to mobilize the public through public announcements for the protests and their itinerary through the social media one week before.

"The procession is a new test and a qualitative development in the means of peaceful resistance, processions and vigilances organized by the Sudanese Professionals Association," said the statement.

The SJNET urged media professionals and journalists to prepare themselves for what it said were days of struggle and a variety of methods to reach the millions expected after the sixth of April.

Opposition forces have been planning to expand the protests in the coming days by organizing large rallies in Sudan's various states to commemorate the April 6 Uprising that toppled late President Jaafar Nimeiri in 1985.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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