Media networks condemn ‘terrorist attack’ on El Tayyar, Sudan
The Arab Coalition for Sudan (ACS) and the Arab Network for Media Crisis (ANMC) have condemned the attack against the editor-in-chief of El Tayyar daily newspaper inside his office in Khartoum on Saturday afternoon. “The violence against journalists in Sudan is a dangerous development.”
In a press statement released on Thursday, ACS and ANMC express their concern over the extremist group called ‘Hamza (Combat) Group against Atheism and Heresy’, which claims the responsibility for the “terrorist” attack on Osman Mirghani. “It oppressed the El Tayyar journalists, looted their laptops and mobile phones. It is a pity that such an incident takes place only a few meters away from the presidential palace and the headquarters of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).”
The media organisations call the violence against journalists “a dangerous development”, following the assassination of Mohamed Taha, the editor-in-chief of El Wifag daily newspaper, by gunmen in 2008. They stressed that newspapers are suffering “from different types of harassment: censorship, confiscation, forced closure, halting of opinion writers, repeated summonses, arbitrary arrests, and prosecuting journalists in publishing issues. This has reached direct assault against journalists.”
Hamza Combat Group
As for editor-in-chief Mirghani, he was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday after recovering from the injuries of the attack. He told the press that six gunmen stormed his office on Saturday afternoon. A seventh assailant then joined them. They insulted him and beat him until he lost consciousness, and was transferred to the hospital. The Khartoum police has revealed that it has obtained important information about the attackers.
The Hamza Combat Group claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday, vowing to attack “anyone who is openly hostile to the Palestinian resistance”. Mirghani had defended the idea of normalising relations with Israel in a Sudanese TV talk show recently.
‘Protect journalists, freedom of expression’
ACS and ANMC demanded from the Sudanese authorities to form an independent investigation committee to bring the perpetrators before justice. ACS further called on all civil society organisations and employees in media to “put an end to the culture of violence and terrorism and form a broad front to protect journalists and freedom of expression”.
File photo: Protests against the attack on Osman Mirghani in Khartoum (Radio Dabanga)
Sudan: Editor-in-chief El Tayyar newspaper attacked (20 July 2014)