African Centre: Sudan to step back and step up the security apparatus of violations of freedom of expression
Sudan step back: the national security intensify violations of freedom of expression in 2011
we go back to the months that preceded and followed, the Southern Sudan referendum on independence, directly, the Sudanese authorities have launched a renewed campaign of systematic repression of freedom of expression, using new methods in the government’s efforts to intimidate and silence independent media in the country.
Historically, the principal approach to the Sudanese government to quell the voice of the media is the use of intelligence and national security to ensure the censorship on the articles that are sensitive. The movements carried out by agents of the government against the press recently to adopt a new strategy focused on the use of control track the role of copyright to prevent distribution of newspapers from the distribution of copies of newspapers printed or confiscation of copies of the presses. Have caused this new strategy in a huge financial outlay on the newspapers and media organizations. The aim of these acts is clearly to put pressure on editors and publishers of newspapers to remove any material that might upset the ruling National Congress Party in order to ensure the financial ability of the newspaper’s survival.
The second part of the new strategy for the government to intimidate and silence independent media in Sudan it is the continuing arrests and trials of journalists, columnists and editors. The exposure of most media professionals who were arrested by national security officials to torture and confiscation of equipment and even to prohibit the dissemination of writings in the future. Have increased the arrests and trials over the past months.
Presents the African Centre for the Study of the Justice and Peace below the relevant legal framework and documents relating to several issues concerning violations of freedom of expression in Sudan, which stands proof of the new strategy of the Government; and make the center the following recommendations:
• the African Centre calls on for a Study of justice and peace the Government of Sudan to end the war being waged on the freedom of expression and the media in Sudan that accommodation to journalists to do their job without fear of harassment, imprisonment, torture, and ending the practice of confiscation and / or closure of newspapers and compliance with all relevant international standards of freedom of expression .
• urges African Centre for the Study of the Justice and Peace of the Special Rapporteur for freedom of expression and the availability of information in Africa, UN special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, the use of delegated their offices to seek more information about the status of freedom of expression in Sudan; by sending fact-finding missions to the country and engage in the process of monitor and closely related to the situation.
I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.Voltaire (1694-1778) French writer and historian.
1) the legal framework
Article 39 of the Interim National Constitution provides that “every citizen has the right does not restrict freedom of expression and to receive and disseminate information, publications and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety and morals, in accordance with the law. The State shall guarantee freedom of the press and other media, as regulated by law in a democratic society. “
While identifies Press and Publications Law, which was adopted by the National Council in 2009 in a positive permissible restrictions on freedom of expression by stating in Article 5 (2) that “does not impose restrictions on the freedom of the press release except as prescribed by law on the protection of national security and order, public health and not under the press to confiscation or close their headquarters or face the press or publisher of imprisonment with respect to the exercise of his profession except in accordance with the law, “it retained the given two Trajaaan poorly used by security forces of the state.
First, keep wide powers of the National Council for Press and Publications, subject to the dominance of party government, which had the presidency for more than 40% of its members, to stop the press. This provision allows room for intelligence and national security and the National Council for Press and Publications, and other governmental bodies violating the freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting national security.
Second, keep the private law courts have the powers to the press a privilege and a broad financial sanctions on the fabulous figures of the newspapers. And know these kinds of sanctions as a “prison indirect” because the monetary penalty may be too high and lead to a prison in the case of failure to pay. The law also provides the powers of the courts banning of newspapers or prevent the imposition of orders on the role of print publishing, and stop the editors, or publisher, or the journalist who committed the alleged violation, for a period determined by the court. And it can also be canceled or suspended registration paper.
Law does not explicitly disclose the subject of censorship, but leaves room for the government to justify censorship and other forms of interference with the name of security, order and public health.
The enforcement of Press and Publications Law of 2009 in Sudan as a means to legitimize censorship violates Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights as interpreted by the African Union Commission in its decisions so special, as he also violates Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
2) arrests and trials of journalists and media professionals
A) Journalists arrested for rape of descriptive reports about Isaac
On February 13, officers in the national security in Khartoum to arrest and torture and rape of descriptive Isaac. Descriptive is an artist and member of the movement Girifna – a youth movement was founded shortly before the elections of April 2010 at the Sudan. And focus on the organization of movement Girifna community about the protest against the bad government policies. Safiya was arrested as part of the government policy designed to harass members of the movement Girifna, following protests carried out by the group in Khartoum in January 2011. Has offered a rare courage descriptive video on the sites of the Internet has recounted her testimony where the facts of what has happened in the rape and torture at the hands of the intelligence and national security, putting herself and her family to intimidation and harassment from the security apparatus.
On the eve of the emergence of a video Safia Taleb number of writers, journalists, the Sudanese authorities to investigate the allegations made by descriptive about being raped and tortured by three members of the intelligence and national security in a detention center and torture in Khartoum. The government raised the number of cases against journalists, writers sympathized with the issue of descriptive.
1 – Faisal Mohamed Saleh
March 12, 2011 in the face of intelligence and national security charges of defamation and publishing false against Faisal Mohamed Saleh, a journalist and professor of media at a university in Sudan, under the Sudanese Penal Code of 1991. He claimed intelligence and national security that the publication of his article, Faisal’s case has damaged the reputation of a descriptive device. He was Professor Faisal Mohamed Saleh has published an article calling for an investigation into the rape descriptive. Case has been the device against Mr. Faisal Mohamed Saleh crimes tribunal Posted in Khartoum North. The trial was postponed until October 25, 2011.
2 – Professor Omar Alaqraa
In March 2011 raising the intelligence and national security, a criminal case against Mr. Omar Alaqraa, civil society activist and columnist bells of freedom, and who also wrote an article in which he called for an investigation into what it claimed descriptive. He accused the National Security Service Professor Alaqraa defamation of the security apparatus. The first session of the trial of Mr. Alaqraa was held in September 29, 2011. The next session will be on November 14, 2011. Faces newspaper editor bells of freedom, Sheikh Abdullah, similar charges.
3 – Fatima Ghazali
Judge Mudesir good on behalf of the Court of publishing crimes Khartoum North to Miss Fatima Ghazali, a journalist newspaper Gazette, a fine of 2,000 Sudanese pounds (670 U.S. dollars) of what you wrote about the rape and torture narrative at the hands of the intelligence and national security and its call for further investigation in subject. The journalist Fatima Ghazali tried under Article 66 of the Criminal Code of 1991 “Publish bad” and under Articles 26 and 28 of the Press and Publications Law. And the failure to pay the fine leads to jail sentence of one month. Sentenced Saad Eddin Ibrahim, editor of the Gazette a fine of 5000 Sudanese pounds (1670 dollars) over the publication of an article journalist Fatima Ghazali.
Saad Eddin Ibrahim to pay the fine but refused to pay Fatima Ghazali; and thus she was detained and then sent to Omdurman women’s prison to begin serving his sentence. Fatima has spent two days in prison Ghazali, before you pay the fine.
4 – Amal Habbani
Amal Habbani, journalist, exposed to the criminal charges earlier filed by the public order police after publishing an article criticizing the behavior of police public order when made press the Sudanese Lubna Ahmed Hussein on trial for wearing pants and the violation of public decency in 2009, and also faced charges over an article published on the issue of descriptive inviting to further investigation.
On July 25, Judge Mudesir good judgment in the hope of a fine for $ 2000 Sudanese pounds (U.S. $ 670) for libel, and the failure to pay the fine leads to jail sentence for a month. Hope refused to pay the fine and was sent to Omdurman women’s prison to serve her sentence.
B) daily field
On February 2, 2011 surrounded by officials from the intelligence and national security newspaper field of six o’clock pm to half past ten pm, and arrested all the newspaper journalists and other staff and visitors and then left the building at the end of the day and took them to an unknown location. They were believed to have taken to the offices of political security in Khartoum North, where they were detained incommunicado for several days and subjected to torture and cruel inhuman and degrading treatment. May display the following persons were arrested:
• Kamal Karrar – deputy editor of the newspaper – was released on February 12.
• Ibrahim Mirghani – works in the political section – was released on February 12.
• Khaled Tawfik – designer – was released, but the African Centre for the Study of justice and peace can not confirm the date of his release.
• Fatima Bashir – working in the printing department – was released on February 3.
• Fathia Ibrahim – working in the printing department – was released on February 3.
• Solomon Wada’ah – Managing Director of Dar Al-paper is published by the Enlightenment – was released on February 3.
• Samir Salah al-Din – trained journalist – was released in March.
• Muhammad Rahma – Responsible Archive – released in March.
• Abdul-Azeem Badawi – visitor to the newspaper – was released in March.
• Ahmed Ali – visitor to the newspaper – was released on February 11.
• Shadia Abdel Moneim – visiting the newspaper – was released on February 3.
• India Tijani – visiting the newspaper – was released on February 3.
• Najat Ahmad – visiting the newspaper – was released on February 3.
• Muawiya Abu Hashem – the paper’s staff – was released in March.
• Mohammed Dirdeiry – trained journalist – was released in March.
C) the center of arrests of journalists and other professionals to target the media
1 – in November 3, 2010, authorities arrested Subki Jaafar, a journalist working for the newspaper press, claiming that it works with Radio Dabanga Radio, a radio broadcast sent to Sudan from the Netherlands. Subki was first arrested for seven months without any charges to him. In January 2011 accused of undermining the constitutional order, a charge carrying a possible death penalty as a punishment. There was a session of his trial on July 12, 2011 in a court in Khartoum headed by Judge Abdel Moneim Mohammed Salim Ali. On August 27, 2011 granting amnesty to Sudanese President Spka. But 6 of his colleagues who work in the media 4 of them are still awaiting trial in the same case. The Tribunal continues to Subki notice to attend meetings of the pretext that they had not received any official notification to pardon him from the President.
2 – in May 2, 2011 stopped the Intelligence and National Security Zeinab Mohamed Saleh (journalist working with the Sudan site Fouts) in a polling station located in the southern Kordofan. The press took Zeinab Mohamed Saleh to the security office in the city where she was detained and questioned for hours about their relationship to the movement Sudan People’s Liberation and the party from whom you work with, and then released without charge to them.
3 – On May 14, stopped by security officials Mohammed the Conqueror, a journalist working with the newspaper field, and Rchan O’Shea, and works with the daily trend, at a checkpoint Mount parents south of Khartoum; has forced journalists to open devices Kmpiotrehma and their organs of personal and their luggage were confiscated Hoatfhma mobile . And subjected to interrogation on the following topics: –
• their relationship to the movement of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army and the Communist Party;
• any contacts for them with the International Criminal Court;
• motives for writing reports about the election of governors in the South Kordofan.
During questioning by the intelligence and national security has a intelligence officials photographed the piece of paper with a picture of President Bashir and the words “to the Hague”, claiming that he found the paper in the bags journalists; and after questioning a long and humiliating distinction degrading treatment in the offices of the intelligence and national security in Mount parents journalists were transferred to the security offices in Kalakla lap – south of Khartoum for further investigation. It has been two journalists detained for 13 hours; and finally released
4 – May 16, ordered the minister of finance Mr. Sudan | Ali Mahmoud – his bodyguards were arrested Ibrahim Abu al-Qasim, a journalist working in a Sudanese newspaper. Ibrahim was investigating corruption in the ministry and was present in the building of the ministry raises questions related to the subject matter hereof, when the minister ordered his arrest. He was detained Ibrahim Abu al-Qasim for two hours in the ministry.
5 – Isaac Hassan, a journalist with the newspaper columnist, he had been arrested and tortured by the security apparatus in the April 8, 2011 during his coverage of the effectiveness of public organized by the Congress Party of Sudan. The Intelligence and National Security, was arrested both attended the event, including journalists. Hassan was detained in one of Isaac security offices and exposure of the skin, abuse and other forms of cruel treatment at the hands of security officers. And later was converted Hassan Isaac to the police station in Khartoum, where he put in solitary confinement for a day without being allowed to notify his family or the dangers of the newspaper. And then sent him the charge before a criminal court in Khartoum North on June 1, 2011 and still awaiting trial.
6 – Fayez Silaik faces a number of cases filed against him in different arms of government for allegedly being accused of publishing malicious and defamatory. He has worked in the newspaper press Silaik bells of freedom and has written many articles on topics considered by the intelligence and national security sensitive. During the period of detention Silaik His family was frequently receive direct threats from security officials. On March 13, postponed the trial court for publishing offenses Silaik because of the absence of the complainant. He left Sudan Silaik now because of this harassment and trials.
7 – on December 12 issued a guilty verdict in a case brought by the intelligence and national security against the daily newspaper under Article 66 of the Sudanese Penal Code, and Articles 25, 26 and 35 of the Media Law and publications. The editor put Saad Eddin Ibrahim, the first defendant and the defendant Altalp journalist Maha Thani. In September 2011 accused the newspaper published false information in an article stating that the Sudanese army will not withdraw from Abyei. The newspaper was ordered to pay a fine of 500 Sudanese pounds also ordered the journalist Maha Altalp to pay a fine of 250 Sudanese pounds. At the same time announced the intelligence and national security that would allow the newspaper, which was his position on the publication since September, to resume publication.
8 – December 25, and while he was a journalist Khaled Ahmed covering the student protests at the University of Khartoum taken to the offices of the intelligence and national security where it was clear all the photos and the protests that had taken his camera. Khalid was released after several hours but was forced to submit his identity and his mobile phone number, address and map of the entire house.
D) the issue of Abu Dhar and the Secretary-Rai al-Shaab
On April 28, 2010 the government closed the newspaper opinion of the people that belong to the opposition Popular Congress Party, and journalists arrested following four:
1 – Abu Dharr, the Secretary
2 – Ashraf Abdul Aziz
3 – Abu Taher Jewel
4 – Ramadan restricted
Ramadan Mahjoub was released immediately. He accused the journalists of the other three crimes against the state and tried to prison. Sentenced to Abu Dhar secretary sentenced to five years, while other journalists sentenced to prison for two years. After Abu Dhar received the appeal to reduce his sentence to three years have also been reduced death other journalists to jail for one year. The three journalists spent hard time in detention before being released as finally subjected to torture and humiliation were not allowed to visit them their families and their lawyers.
On May 3, 2011 was released Abu Dhar secretary. But prison authorities handed him over to the Cooper Prosecutor General of the State Security in Khartoum because of national security may raise issues of a new criminal against him, accusing him of endangering the security of the country at risk in the article he wrote about the internal working methods of the National Congress Party during the 2010 elections. He was detained Abu Dhar Secretary based on these new charges and denied access to lawyers. Abu Dhar has written hundreds of articles about the Secretary-sensitive subjects; and if the government’s intention is to arrest him and try him for every article he wrote, he may remain in detention indefinitely.
Allowed the newspaper to resume publication opinion of the people in November 2011, during the period of the NCP to deal with flexibility in order to attract members of the opposition to join the government. But in January 2012 issued by officials of the intelligence and national security printed copies of the newspaper, and seized the offices of the organization and announced closure of the newspaper across the Sudanese television. Two weeks ago it had been questioned affection Hamad, a journalist working in the newspaper, over three hours because of an article published about the death of a local commander in West Darfur.
3) confiscation of newspapers printed
Recently began to intelligence and national security in the confiscation of copies of newspapers after printing to prevent the distribution was not given any reasons for these confiscations; is known to prevent newspapers from distribution of copies after printing is Taktica following the aim to inflict greater physical damage to the newspapers in order to lead to a weakening of those newspapers economically It can be driven into bankruptcy; a method designed to pay the owners of newspapers not to allow journalists to publish articles on the topics of security officials did not wish to publish
A) The Bells of Freedom Newspaper
Older members of the department of information security device on several occasions for the confiscation of copies of the bells of freedom after the newspaper printed in order to prevent distribution. I have written the editorial board of the newspaper several times to the National Council for Press and publications in the demand for the interpretation of these seizures to no avail. Since the beginning of 2011 to prevent the intelligence and national security, freedom ring from the distribution of the newspaper in nine times: January 20, 2011, 31 January 2011.8 March 2011, April 6, 2011, Apr 7 2011.10 June 2011, June 21, 2011, 26 June 2011.
B) other confiscations of newspapers
Below is a list Balmassadarat of newspapers that have occurred recently at the hands of security forces:
• confiscation of daily events on 7 and August 8, 2011.
• the confiscation of the newspaper in the newspaper, August 10, 2011.
• authorities confiscated printed copies of the Gazette newspaper on 20 and 21 and 22 August and September 4, 2011 because the newspaper had allowed journalists from newspaper articles published liberty bells on their pages.
• confiscation of newspaper news today in the September 13, 2011.
• the confiscation of the field after a newspaper printed and without explanation in the days 2, 4, 6, 8 and 12 and September 14, 2011.
“It is not certain whether the effects of totalitarianism upon verse need be so deadly as its effects on prose. There is a whole series of converging reasons why it is somewhat easier for a poet than a prose writer to feel at home in an authoritarian society.[…]what the poet is saying- that is, what his poem “means” if translated into prose- is relatively unimportant, even to himself. The thought contained in a poem is always simple, and is no more the primary purpose of the poem than the anecdote is the primary purpose of the picture. A poem is an arrangement of sounds and associations, as a painting is an arrangement of brushmarks. For short snatches, indeed, as in the refrain of a song, poetry can even dispense with meaning altogether.”
― George Orwell, 50 Essays
• confiscation of newspaper print, and after the press without explanation on 8 and September 11, 2011; and confiscated the newspaper again on Oct. 11 by the intelligence and national security in Khartoum without explanation. Observers of the African Centre for the Study of justice and peace that they suspect that the newspaper had been confiscated because of an article published critical of President al-Bashir because he was wearing a shoe from the skin of a lion is not considered a legitimate wear, so when he received President Kiir in Khartoum airport.
• the confiscation of the newspaper the day after the news print, and without explanation on September 13, 2011.
Journalists are also suffering from poor conditions of many professional institutions and the weakness of trade union role, putting many of them under the sword of displacement and arbitrary dismissal from work.
And we appreciate their struggles and their efforts to free press and for the search for truth and to do their responsibility towards the community in the transfer of facts and reversible, and we condemn all forms of infringement on freedom of expression, and call upon the government to fulfilling their constitutional obligations and international and regional press freedom of expression, and to lift all restrictions on newspapers and on the freedom of expression.