Death threats against five journalists in Khartoum
|Publisher||World Organisation Against Torture|
|Publication Date||21 December 2007|
|Cite as||World Organisation Against Torture, Death threats against five journalists in Khartoum, 21 December 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47a87ed71e.html [accessed 17 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
Geneva-Paris, 21 December 2007. The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) have been informed by the Sudan Organisation Against Torture (SOAT) about the death threats against five journalists in Khartoum, including a member of SOAT's network inside Sudan, for their public stances on key political issues.
According to the information received, on December 4, 2007, a man, who called himself "Fattah", called from neighbouring Chad Mr. Abdel Moneim Suleiman, a member of the Sudanese Online website. "Fattah" claimed that he had been invited to the residence of the Sudanese consul in the Chadian capital N'Djamena and offered 400,000 US dollars to kill Mr. Suleiman, as well as Messrs. Al-Haj Warraq, Al-Tahir Satti, who both work for the privately-owned newspaper al-Sahafa, Rabbah al-Sadiq al-Mahdi, who also contributes to al-Sahafa, and Faisal el-Bagir, a SOAT member, a correspondent for Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières - RSF), and the editorial advisor for al-Midan newspaper.
"Fattah"further said an individual who introduced himself as Mannan gave information about the five journalists, including their contact details, and told him to go to a particular hotel in central Khartoum and await further instructions. He said the journalists were being targeted because of their criticism of the Sudanese regime and their support for the deployment of an international peacekeeping force in Darfur. "Fattah"claimed to have withdrawn from the deal because he had not received in full a first instalment of 180,000 dollars that had been promised to him.
A second telephone call from the same individual, during which a similar conversation took place, was recorded and the journalists have reported the threat to the Sudanese police.
OMCT and FIDH express their deep concern about these death threats against Messrs. Abdel Moneim Suleiman, Al-Haj Warraq, Al-Tahir Satti, Rabbah al-Sadiq al-Mahdi and Faisal el-Bagir and call upon the Sudanese authorities to guarantee, in all circumstances, their physical and psychological integrity, as well as to order a thorough and impartial investigation into the above-mentioned events, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them to trial and apply the penal and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law.
More generally, OMCT and FIDH urge the Sudanese authorities to comply with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, as well as with Article 39 of the Sudanese Interim National Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression and of the media, as well as with Articles 40.1 and 40.2 on freedom of assembly and association.
Finally, OMCT and FIDH urge the authorities to ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
For further information, please contact :
OMCT: Alexandra Kossin: + 41 22 809 49 39
FIDH: Gael Grilhot: +33 1 43 55 25 18