Sudan: Journalist detained, at risk of tortureA prominent journalist, Faisal Mohammed Salih, was arrested in Sudan on 8 May by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS). He is believed to be detained for giving an interview critical of the government. He is being held incommunicado and is at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment. Plain-clothed agents arrested Faisal Mohammed Salih at 11.45am on 8 May while he was in his home in Khartoum, the capital. He has since been detained without access to his family or a lawyer, and is at serious risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Faisal Mohammed Salih’s arrest comes after 13 days of harassment by the NISS. On 25 April, he was interrogated by the NISS in Khartoum North about an interview he gave to satellite news channel Al-Jazeera, which was aired on 19 April at 6pm, on the subject of a speech recently given by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir. During the interrogation, the NISS officer criticized the comments that Faisal Mohammed Salih made during his TV interview and warned him to be cautious when addressing foreign media. Faisal Mohammed Salih was then made to report almost daily to the NISS offices, waiting in the reception area from 9am to 5pm without being interrogated. On 8 May, he did not report to the NISS, and was likely arrested as a result.
Faisal Mohammed Salih is a prisoner of conscience, held solely for exercising his right to free speech.
PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY. Urge the Sudanese authorities to:
* immediately and unconditionally release Faisal Mohammed Salih,
* ensure Faisal Mohammed Salih is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, and that he has regular access to his family and lawyer of his choice,
* end the harassment of journalists and peaceful political activists.
HERE IS THE CONTACT INFORMATION YOU NEED:
HE Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir
Office of the President
PO Box 281
Fax: 011 249 183 770 621 (hard to reach)
Salutation: Your Excellency
Minister of Justice:
Mohammed Bushara Dousa
Ministry of Justice
PO Box 302, Al Nil Avenue
Fax: 011 249 183 764 168
Salutation: Your Excellency
PLEASE SEND A COPY TO:
Mr Musa Abdelrahim Mohamed Adam
Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Sudan
354 Stewart Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6K8
Fax: (613) 235-6880
Minister of Interior:
Ibrahim Mohamed Hamed
Ministry of Interior
PO Box 873
Faisal Mohammed Salih is a prominent journalist from Sudan and the director of Teeba Press, an NGO working to train journalists. In the past ten years, he has written extensively on Sudan, notably for Al-Akhbar, Al Adwa and Al Shahid. In March 2011, he faced charges of criminal defamation and was accused of ruining the reputation of the NISS for reporting on the rape of Safia Ishaag, an activist, by NISS agents.
A raft of new tactics are being used to silence journalists in Sudan in a crackdown by Khartoum’s authorities dating from the start of uprisings in North Africa in January 2011, Amnesty International said in a new briefing released on World Press Freedom Day. Silencing Dissent: Restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression persist in Sudan (http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/journalists-face-increasing-harassment-sudan-2012-05-02) explores how the authorities now censor journalists, including by confiscating newspapers after they have been printed, preventing vendors from distributing copies, and charging journalists and editors with spurious crimes.
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