IFJ blasts Sudan for press blackout

The International Federation of Journalists has condemned the Sudanese government for its continued clampdown on media coverage.

It claims this is preventing full coverage of the conflict in the west of the country, in which thousands of civilians have been massacred. Some journalists have described the attacks as reminiscent of the Rwandan genocide 10 years ago.

Journalists in the area have reported that getting to the capital, Khartoum, is problematic because visas are increasingly hard to get hold of and travel to trouble spots such as Darfur has become impossible without extra travel permits.

IFJ general secretary Aidan White said: “Journalists are facing intolerable bureaucratic constraints and delays. If anything, censorship and intimidation of the media only makes matters worse and increases uncertainty, fear and ignorance.”

Since 2003, several newspapers have been temporarily suspended by the Sudanese government, including the only English-language newspaper, the Khartoum Monitor, which was out of print for six months on seven occasions.

By Nicola Sullivan

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