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National roundtable alarmed by ‘deteriorating media freedom’

December 9, 2008 (JUBA) – A group of journalists, civil society
groups, and international media development organisations are alarmed
by “the deteriorating state of freedom of expression and media freedom
in Sudan.”

The National Roundtable group forged a resolution December 2 during a
meeting of 34 Sudanese journalists and media professionals in Juba,
held under the auspices of the Sudan Consortium, a coalition of media
groups supported by the European Commission and Norwegian Ministry for
Foreign Affairs.

The roundtable discussed in-force and draft national media
legislation, and highlighted the need for urgent reform of National
and Southern Sudan media legislation, ahead of the scheduled 2009
national elections.

“The meeting was deeply concerned by the crackdown on journalists,
media professionals and media houses throughout the country, and most
particularly in Khartoum,” said a statement issued by London-based ARTICLE 19.

“The increasing of censorship of newspapers, the harassment, detention and torture of media practitioners has reached alarming levels in Sudan,” it added.

At hand to open the meeting was Gabriel Changson Chang, the Southern
Sudan minister of information and broadcasting.

Freedom of expression and media freedom are guaranteed under the
provisions of the Interim National Consitution and the Interim
Constitution of South Sudan, which were established in accordance with
the terms of a peace agreement in 2005.

However, the roundtable called for an end to what it called “acts of
repression against the media” and drew attention to the particular
role of the Sudanese National Security and Intelligence Forces (NISS)
in imposing censorship on the media.

Furthermore, the journalists called for repealing the Press Act of 2004.

(ST)

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Comments

  1. National roundtable alarmed by ‘deteriorating media freedom’
    When the Sudanese national patriotic front stands up to its’ duties and obligations,confronting the GONU/GOSS Authority…“The Media”all the times will bear the struggle’s flag,to enhance Democracy practiction and empowering the masses.Sudan is a country that,Demcracy praticed in all life’s aspects,from the grassroots of the communities to the clans’ and tribal leadres.All post British-Colony governments,had inherited and imlemented all the colonial polices and tactics,of press cenorship,repression acts of the security organs against meida practicioners and abuse of State owned media apparatus,It’s a chronic disease that adopetd by all the ruling regimes in Khartoum and Juba as well, and we can’t afford the cure to it unless we stand together as one in the face of our so-called leaders.Western style democracy,is not same as the traditional African one,it’s lacking the transparency and accountability,but once it has been the choise of the Sudanese People,we have to conceed to its role in our modern life.Democracy as imposed by the Western Powers in Africa,and Sudan in particular,meant to empower the the grip of power by the Northern-Colonial Alliens”Umma Party,DUP” to insure the contituency of their polices that hindered by Independence Declaration,and the masses turned the table upside down.Democratic legislations without a free press and Media,sounds like an empty barrels with a safety label.However,It’s not a late move against our dictatoral NCP/SPLM regime,because it was lacking the Internantionl Community’s support.Now we can hand over our dare Freedom of Press and Speech to the Western-Style Democratic System Exporters,let them sort it out, as a signatoriors and gurantors of the deadborn CPA and the Handicaped Interim Costitutions of the Republic of Sudan ,South Sudan as well.
    Freedom of Press and Speech,was and still is the 4th Public Authority for the Peoples,the oppressed,the marginalized,the voiceless ,me,you,and all the African Freedom Fighters..
    Long live the Spirits of our fallen heros…NEW-SUDAN Oyeeee…SPLA Oyeeee

  2. National roundtable alarmed by ‘deteriorating media freedom’
    The freedom of expression is part of the human right priciples, which nobody has the right to deny it to the people of Sudan or somewhere else. As we all know that the SPLM waged the war for more than two decades to bring about freedom and equality to the people of Sudan. This freedom does not exclude the right to voice one’s opinion. So the Government of South Sudan must lead the way in the direction of press freedom. Press freedom will not harm any political aspiration of any body except those who are committing crimes and conducting illegal activities in the name of national security.

    Furthermore, the people of Sudan and South Sudan in particular want to know what their government is doing through fair reporting, and I believe no journalist who is keen in reporting what is not true. So, the journalists, I think, would like the people of South Sudan and Sudan as a whole to know the truth that has not been influenced by any political ideas. Hence, there is no any good reason to subject them to all kinds of intimedation. If the government has nothing to hide, why should they fear what the journalists are goimg to report?

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