(RSF/IFEX) - In a letter sent to the general secretary of the National Press Council, Al Obaid Ahmed Mourawah, RSF protested the council's decision to prohibit the media from covering an assault on journalist Mohamed Taha Mohamed Ahmed. The organisation called on the general secretary to use his influence "to see to it that the Council cancels this decision". "This measure is clearly a kind of censorship," added RSF Secretary-General Robert Ménard.
According to information collected by RSF, on 26 September 2000, the National Press Council, which is under the direct responsibility of the president, decreed a total media blackout on the presumed murder attempt on journalist Mohamed Taha Moamed Ahmed. On 21 September, a car which fled, according to witnesses, knocked over the editor-in- chief of the daily "Al Wifaq". This incident occurred as the journalist left the council's offices, where he had to give explanations about an article considered defamatory against Hassan El Tourabi, president of the National Congress of the People, a political party. The council subsequently ordered the closure of the newspaper for five days.