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Seventy journalists arrested at demonstration against government censorship

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Condemns Arrest of Protesting Journalists in Sudan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today condemned the arrest and detention of about 70 journalists on Monday, as they were demonstrating against the censorship practice and tactics employed by the Sudanese government.

"We consider the arrest of the journalists on Monday by the Sudanese authorities as an act of intimidation aimed at preventing the media from reporting the truth in Sudan," said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa office. "The Sudanese government must respect the rights of journalists and their independence. Censorship is not acceptable in modern journalism and the media in Sudan must be allowed to exercise its duties without any form of interference."

According to a statement issued by the Eastern Africa Journalists Association, the journalists were arrested together with politicians and other members of civil society who had joined in the demonstration at the Parliament to register the journalists' discontent because of the government's censorship. "The Sudanese government has posted officials to newspaper houses that vet the content of all these papers and determine what should be published," said EAJA.

The IFJ urges the Sudanese Government to respect the right to press freedom and freedom of expression, and to create an environment which enables journalists to operate according to internationally recognized standards of journalism.

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