Sudan closes Khartoum offices of Al Arabiya, Sky News Arabia
Rebecca Hawkes | 28-09-2013
The Sudanese authorities have shut down the Khartoum operations of pan-Arab television news channels Al-Arabiya and Sky News Arabia, according to the UAE-based broadcasters.
The closures come as Sudan faces the largest demonstrations seen during President Omar al-Bashir's 24-year rule. Stemmed by a fuel price hike, the unrest has led to reports of the death at the hands of security forces of more than 50 people – although official figures put this at 29.
Tarek al-Tijani, Sky News correspondent in Khartoum, told AFP that government officials closed his office on 27 September.
“Security officers came and informed us that the authorities had decided to freeze our activities. They seized equipment and told us we can no longer carry out journalistic activities,” said al-Tijani.
Al Arabiya’s closure came hours after its Khartoum correspondent was summoned by government officials, the station said.
A media blackout is now being reported in Sudan, with journalists saying the daily newspapers Al-Sudani and Al-Majhar al-Siassi were seized at the printing press on Friday (27 September). A third daily, Al-Watan was reportedly ordered not to go to print after covering the protests in its Thursday edition.