Sudan releases journalists detained for covering protests
Sudanese authorities on Monday released a Reuters journalist and an Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter who were detained while covering protests in Khartoum last week.
Paris based website Sudan Tribune that covers issues in the region reported that other local journalists including Idris Shawky Abdelazim, a journalist at the independent daily Al-Youm Al-Tali, Imtinan El Radi, a reporter for the same newspaper, and Magdi Al-Agab of Al-Watan daily were released on Sunday.
It also reported that Amal Habani, a female reporter for Al-Taghyeer news website and Kamal Karar of the Sudanese Communist Party mouthpiece Al-Midan are still in detention.
"I am free, as are other journalists"
Reuters regained contact with its Sudanese reporter, Khalid Abdelaziz, on Monday evening for the first time since before his arrest. He said he had not been mistreated, and was released alongside the AFP reporter and another local journalist.
No charges were filed against the reporters, who were detained in Khartoum’s Kobar prison.
"We are extremely relieved that Reuters reporter Khalid Abdelaziz has been released from detention in Khartoum," a Reuters spokesperson said.
"He has been reunited with his family and will return to the important work of reporting on events in Sudan in due course."
AFP also published a news story confirming the release of its reporter.
"I am free, as are other journalists," said AFP’s 51 year old Idris Ali a few minutes after his release.
While welcoming the release, AFP’s CEO Emmanuel Hoog called on the Khartoum authorities to "create the conditions for journalists to be able to work freely and serenely in Sudan".
The journalists were detained while covering protests and clashes with security forces which broke out across Sudan early this month after Khartoum imposed tough economic measures in line with recommendations by the International Monetary Fund.
The arrests were condemned by several media watchdogs, human rights groups and the United States government.