Monday, July 11, 2011

Journalists given prison sentences after reporting on alleged rape

 Saad el-Din Ibrahim, editor of the Sudanese Daily Al Jarida, has been charged with, “publishing fake news”.  This occurred after he reported on the alleged rape of the female opposition activist, Safia Ishaag.  He is now faced with a decision between a fine - 5, 000 Sudanese or a month in prison.

Last month, 9 other journalists were also charged with defamation and, “publishing fake news”.  Their reports all dealt with the alleged rape of Ishaad by three members of the National Intelligences and Security Services. 

On 3rd July, the deputy editor of Sudanese Opposition Daily Rai Al-Shaab was moved from Kober Central Prison into the custody of the State Security Prosecution after spending 18 months in jail.  He now faces fresh charges of “publishing fake news” and “attacking the state”.  These charges could carry a possible life sentence or the death penalty.

There are many examples of attacks on journalists and there seems to be a definite media crackdown in North Sudan.  The independence of South Sudan is likely to make the situation in the North more difficult.

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