Sudanese authorities have forced television network Al Jazeera’s Khartoum bureau to close, as post-coup demonstrations continue with several people killed recently.
“The network sees this as an attack on media freedom, professional journalism and the basic tenets of the right for people to know.
“We want people to also understand the reality of what is happening in Sudan,’’ Al Jazeera said in a statement on Friday.
The closure of the Doha-based broadcaster comes as a sit-in continues in central Khartoum, weeks after a military coup that deposed long-ruling President, Omar al-Bashir.
The protesters had originally been calling for al-Bashir to go, but are now demanding the military rulers also step aside and allow a civilian government.
Sudan’s ruling Transitional Military Council announced on television on Thursday the sit-in area had become a crime hotspot and vowed to deal with any illegal activities.
Head of the central Khartoum military region Bahar Ahmed al-Bahar said that the legitimate protest was exploited by the uncontrollable elements that have an agenda different from the agenda of the revolution and the demonstrators.
“As a result, many unlawful practices spread and provoke the regular forces and engage them in frictions at different levels,’’ al-Bahar said
The Central Committee of Sudanese Doctors (CCSD) on Thursday announced a 20-year-old protester was shot dead in the chest by bullets from the regular forces in the vicinity of protest area.
“And on Wednesday, a pregnant woman was killed and several other people injured when fighting broke out among soldiers near the site of a mass protest,’’ the CCSD said.
This week also saw a 48-hour nationwide strike, in which medics, lawyers, civil servants and airline personnel participated, aimed at pressuring the transitional military council to make way for a civilian government.