Sudan: Journalists Detained

Tuesday, May 14, 1996

Sudan: Journalists Detained, May 1996

The Canadian Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned at the detention of four journalists with the state-owned Sudanese Television. There has been no news of the journalists since their April arrest by Sudanese security forces. News director Ismael Muhammad al-Hussein, news editors Hussein Saleh and Abbas Suleiman, and cameraman Osama Ghandi were arrested at the TV station's offices in late April and taken into custody.

There has been no news of the journalists since their arrest, and colleagues fear that they are being held in "ghost houses," clandestine detention centres where prisoners are routinely tortured. Your government has denied that these "ghost houses" exist, but respected human rights organizations such as Amnesty International have documented their existence.

The CCPJ believes that al-Hussein, Saleh, Suleiman and Ghandi were arrested solely for exercising their right to free expression, which is guaranteed by Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Their arrest constitutes a violation of the principles of the Declaration of Sana'a on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Arab Media, which were agreed upon by journalists from the entire Arab world, and endorsed by the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.