Sudan Journalists Agree to End Hunger Strike


A group of 30 journalists who had staged Sudan’s largest ever hunger protest have agreed to end their demonstration after the government pledged to defer their case to the Constitutional Court.

The journalists had vowed not to eat until the suspension on their paper was lifted. However, three days into their mass protest, the group agreed to temporarily end the strike on the condition their case goes to the Constitutional Court.


Case deferred to Constitutional Court

This isn’t the first time Sudanese publication Al Tayar has had to protest its suspension by security forces. The paper was also suspended indefinitely in February 2012, before the Constitutional Court ruled it be allowed to resume publication in June of the same year.

The paper was suspended once again by security forces in December last year, but no reason for the suspension was given. Last month the publication announced it would stage a hunger strike and more than 30 journalists stopped eating on Tuesday. The group says the strike is only ended temporarily, to give the Constitutional Court the time it needs to evaluate the case, and they’ll be hoping for a similar verdict to four years previous.


Committee to discuss press issues

Head of the strikers committee Khalid Fatehi met with members of the Sudanese Journalist Union on Thursday, who proposed the strike be ended in exchange for deferring the case.

The agreement was settled during the committee meeting, but mediators insisted they would “be bound by the judge’s decision whatever it may be.” Speaking to Sudan Tribune, Fatehi also revealed the groups agreed to establish a joint committee to discuss press issues in the country and address the cases of Al Tayar in particular.

The Sudanese press is legally protected by the country’s 2005 interim constitution, but publications remain subject to aggressive censorship and suspensions under the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).


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flickr photo shared by Tyler Menezes under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license