Sudanese citizen journalist Usamah Mohamad has been reportedly arrested on Friday in the country’s capital along with @Arch_Asaad, a Sudanese architect. As @Arch_Asaad has been released, Mohamad's whereabouts remain unknown.
Earlier on Friday, Usamah Mohamad recorded a video for Al Jazeera's The Stream in which he explains why he intends to participate in the protests planned on June 30.
Khartoum students have been protesting for seven straight days against planned government spending cuts and spiralling living costs, calling for an end to President Omar al-Bashir’s rule. According to Reuters, Friday's demonstrations were the most important since the beginning of the movement against spending cuts. No longer confined to the University of Khartoum, protests erupted throughout the city in neighbourhoods that had so far been quiet.
Mohamad was one of the first to announce on Thursday via Twitter the arrests of Bloomberg correspondent Salma el-Wardany and Sudanese activist "Mimz" who were kept in custody for several hours before being released. Both were arrested near the University of Khartoum where students have been protesting for days.
Salma el-Wardany is an Egyptian journalist who has been covering the protests in the Sudanese capital. According to her sister, el-Wardany was released under the condition that she stays home until Sudanese authorities decide whether to deport her or not.
On Tuesday an AFP correspondent was arrested by security forces after talking to students and taking pictures at the University of Khartoum. He remained in custody for more than 12 hours without charge.
"Sudanese authorities must end its ruthless crackdown on protests and stop the harassment of journalists covering demonstrations," Amnesty International said in a report published on Friday. According to the NGO, Sudanese authorities have arrested "scores of activists" since the protests began. It also accused the police of temporarily detaining bloggers and journalists “in an attempt to stifle reporting on the protest movement." “The Sudanese government is showing zero tolerance for demonstrations and continues to deny the Sudanese people its right to peaceful assembly”, said Paule Rigaud, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Africa.
On Monday, al-Bashir told government that he would seek a raft of austerity measures including reducing the number of civil servants, phasing out fuel subsidies, and raising taxes on consumer goods, banks and imports. On Tuesday morning, the Sudanese government announced the approval of the fuel subsidy cuts, which prompted protests in Khartoum, Omdurman and in the South Sudanese capital Juba.