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ANHRI condemns attack on Al Jazeera team in South Kordofan

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo 15 June 2011 - ANHRI has condemned the brutal attack by Sudanese security forces on an Al Jazeera team in South Kordofan state, Sudan. The team was beaten by the security forces, then driven away by force for an investigation.

The Al Jazeera team, consisting of reporter Osama Sayed, photographer Ahmed Yassin, engineer Ali Abu Shala and driver Moussa Blou, was heading to Deling city in South Kordofan to cover news when they were stopped by local soldiers at a checkpoint. The soldiers started to punch and beat the team with their rifle butts and threatened to shoot them. This brutal attack occurred while the team was escorted by the Sudanese army forces, which did not step in to defend them.

The driver was injured in the attack and his camera was briefly confiscated. The team was then driven to the Security Authority Headquarters where they were placed under investigation before they were taken to the Police Station for questioning under article 147 of the Sudanese Criminal Law. Afterwards the team was released and went back to the capital of North Kordofan state, according to ANHRI sources.

ANHRI said, "The brutal attack on journalists and reporters in the presence of army forces is aimed at concealing the deteriorating human rights situation in Kordofan state, where severe fighting is taking place and many civilians are killed every day."

ANHRI added, "Sudanese authorities have to stop suppressing freedom of the press and the media, and provide a safe environment to ensure respect for the fundamental human right of freedom of expression that should not be violated."

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