Port Sudan, April 3( Darfur 24)

The Sudanese Journalists Association SJA has described the Sudanese authorities’ decision to suspend the work of Al Arabiya, Al Hadath, and Sky News Arabia channels in Sudan as a violation of freedom of expression and retaliation against journalists and correspondents.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of Culture and Information decided to suspend the work of Al Arabiya, Al Hadath, and Sky News Arabia channels in Sudan, under the pretext of their lack of commitment to the required transparency and professionalism and failure to renew licenses to practice media work.

In a statement obtained by Darfur 24, SJAcondemned this decision, declaring its rejection of the grounds and considering it a clear violation of freedom of expression, freedom of the press and media, and the sanctity of press and media institutions.

SJA said that it was an unfair retaliatory decision against journalists, correspondents, and employees of the offices of the aforementioned channels in Sudan.

According to SJA statement, the closure of satellite channels and restricting those working in the profession would silence the voice of professional media, and would also open the door to the spread of rumors and hate speech.

The Sudanese Journalist Association confirmed that the decision comes as a continuation of the campaigns of restrictions, siege, terrorism and intimidation imposed on male and female journalists who have been working under very complex conditions since the outbreak of war in Sudan on April 15 of last year.

The union called on the Sudanese authorities to respect the freedom of the press and media and stop the blatant violation of national laws and international conventions against them. It also called on regional and international human rights and journalistic institutions to condemn the deliberate targeting of male and female journalists and to pressure them to provide all forms of support and advocacy for them as stipulated in international conventions.

The relationship between Sudan and the UAE, from which the closed channels broadcast, became tense, against the backdrop of Abu Dhabi’s accusations of supporting the Rapid Support Forces and supplying them with weapons and equipment.