LOFIM and 14 Libyan organizations share Azza Center for Professional Media in its call on the Sudanese authorities to guarantee freedom of the press and provide protection for journalists and civil society activists

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Press Release 

Demanding guarantees of rights and freedoms and the right of expression

Libya / Tripoli , 2 November 2021

Today, November 2, the world celebrates the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, which was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in it’s resolution issued on December 18, 2013 to confront the phenomenon of impunity and considered it a major challenge to strengthening the protection of journalists.

In its resolution, the United Nations General Assembly referred to the necessity of considering journalists and media professionals in armed conflict areas to be civilians, and they must be respected and protected according to the international humanitarian law and the conventions and treaties that require the protection of civilians.

In Sudan, journalists and media professionals suffered for decades and still suffering from the absence of an appropriate environment which allows them to carry out their work independently without authorities interference, and the press was restricted by laws that prevented any free activity outside the system of the ruling regime.

According to the statistics of Reporters Without Borders – Sudan, for three decades the former National Congress Party made Sudan one of the world’s most oppressive countries for press freedom, as the security and intelligence services were considered the basic building block of the regime’s censorship mechanism, they directly interfered with the media and printing houses to take Various types of arbitrary action, such as preventing newspapers from publishing and placing “red lines” in front of journalists for the sake of the ruling authority. When the “persecution of journalists” was at it’s highest level during the previous era, and while the regime was reeling in early April 2019, Reporters Without Borders documented more than a hundred arrests among media actors,  so the regime had severe consequences for the media landscape, which must be rebuilt from rubble.

And according to Reporters Without Borders, repression and violations are still being practiced against journalists even after the overthrow of the previous regime by the security and military agencies in the country, despite of its equivalence to the civil state, where the number of deaths in (2021) reached 31 among journalists, 4 deaths among the aides and the number of prisoners so far has reached 348, while the imprisoned journalists are 83, the number of prisoners among the electronic citizens is 13

In October 26, 2021 a military movement started in sudan that resulted in a coup against the civilian government, which prompted all the Sudanese people to go out in an organized peaceful protests…but The military practiced repression by forced detention of Information Minister and all the national radio and television staff, as well as the shutdown Sudan News Agency. Also some journalists and activists were subjected to violations, enforced disappearances and detention while carrying out their work covering peaceful protests.

Sudan is among the countries that haven’t signed the two international conventions “protecting people from enforced disappearance” and

“Anti-torture” convention, which makes impunity for crimes committed against journalists still widespread and dangerous. Media professionals are also very vulnerable to be silenced and not protected internationally from abuse. We urge civil and international society to act and prevent these crimes, and bring those responsible to justice.

Activists and human rights defenders are continously subjected to harassment, threats and intimidation by the military component and state security agencies, in some cases they are exposed to torture, kidnapping and killing; which creates atmosphere of fear and impunity.

Ensuring rights of freedom expression, peaceful assembly and association is an integral part of the civil state and it is incumbent on the authorities in Sudan and the international parties to provide protection to civil society, journalists and activists, including rights defenders.

In this context, Azza Center for Professional Media, and many of civil society organizations and institutions, rights defenders, in Libya freedoms and human rights, demand the necessary to:

* Ensuring the protection of journalists and activists while performing their professional duty in peaceful protests.

* The necessity of strictness on the security services to preserve democracy by respecting the freedom of the press and civilians.

* The transitional government must commit to sign the two international treaties “Protecting people from Enforced Disappearance” and the “Convention against Torture” in order to guarantee the protection of journalists and individuals rights, and the implementation of transitional justice and reparation.

* Sudan’s obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights on December 16, 1966, and Sudan was one of the participating parties to the Covenant. The number of these states reached 165 in April 2010. Sudan joined to the Covenant on March 18, 1986. According to Article 27 of the Interim Constitution of Sudan 2005, all rights and freedoms included in this Covenant are an integral part of the Constitution.

* The Covenant lays down rules representing minimum restrictions on states parties and their civil and political rights obligations, including (Article 18); Freedom of opinion and expression, and the right to receive information and ideas.

The signatories:

Azza Center for Professional Media – Sudan / the initiator

Organizations from Libya:-

  1. Libyan Organization for Independent Media (LOFIM)
  2. Blaady Orgnization for Human Rights
  3. Aswat media network
  4. Matres Youth Organization
  5. Thought Pioneers Organization Matres
  6. International Arabic Organization For Woman’s Rights
  7. 17 February Environment and Human Rights Organization, Misurata
  8. Tabbinou Association for Human Rights, Nalut
  9. Al-Muhajir Voice Organization for Human Rights, Al-Zawiya
  10. Change Organization for Development, Zawiya
  11. Touareg Youth Organization for Dialogue and Debate, Sebha
  12. Jurists without restrictions Benghazi
  13. Homeland Unity Organization, Misurata
  14. Al street Association to Fight AIDS and Drugs
  15. Libyan Institution for Investigative Journalism
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