The Committee to Protect Journalists have called on the Sudanese authorities for the 'immediate release' of the two journalists who were taken into custody nearly a week ago after covering anti-government protests in Khartoum.
The whereabouts or justification for the arrest of the journalists one week ago remains unknown. Shaimaa Adel, an Egyptian editor for El-Watan, a private Egyptian daily, and Marwa al-Tigany, a Sudanese freelance journalist who writes for a local news website, had been covering the protests that began in Sudan on June 16. Crack downs on the protesters have been harsh including the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, beatings and attacks.
CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney has said:
"Sudan believes it can silence reporting of political unrest by disappearing journalists into an informational black hole...The families of Shaimaa Adel and Marwa al-Tigany do not even know if their loved ones are safe. This is truly cruel. We hold the Sudanese authorities responsible for the welfare and safety of these two journalists and call for their immediate release."
The two journalists who remain in custody are not the only reporters who have been targeted, on Friday two Al Jazeera correspondents were briefly detained, as well as several members of an Al Arabiya crew.
A ctizen journalist Usamah Mohamad has been in custody for over three weeks now, also for covering protests in Khartoum. On the day of his arrest, the Sudanese activist had recorded a video for Al Jazeera's The Stream in which he explained why he intended to participate in the protests planned for June 30.
Sudan's authorities appear determined to silence the reporting of the ongoing protests with heavy-handed reactions to the protests which have been relatively small scale, and multiple restrictions and arrests of those covering events for both domestic and international media.