Sudan: Revocation of Al Jazeera Mubasher's license is an unjustified attack on freedom of opinion and expression
Stockholm- Skyline deeply condemns the decision of the Sudanese authorities to withdraw the broadcasting license of the "Al-Jazeera Mubasher" under the basis of ‘the un-professional coverage of the Sudanese affairs. It reiterates that this decision is a dangerous and unacceptable violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and freedom of the press guaranteed by international law.
In a statement released today (Monday), Skyline reported that the Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Information, Dr. Nasr El-Din Ahmed, in an official letter to the director of Al Jazeera Mubasher's Khartoum bureau, instructed that the license be revoked as of January 15, 2022, according to Aljazeera's website.
"Skyline" stresses that the decision of the Undersecretary of the Sudanese Ministry of Information was based on loose and illogical terms to justify the revocation of the license of the channel, such as the phrases "unprofessional coverage" of the Sudanese issue and "damage to the social fabric in the country by broadcasting contrary media content." It emphasizes that these justifications are not based on real and legal facts, which likely indicates that the decision of the Sudanese authorities is based on political justifications aimed at restricting the work of media institutions covering the events that have been taking place in Sudan for several months.
In addition, Skyline explains that the decision to revoke the license of one of the channels of the Al-Jazeera network is not the first restriction imposed on the channel. On May 30, 2019, Sudanese authorities closed the offices of Al-Jazeera "News" and Al-Jazeera "Mubasher", but reversed this decision two months later and allowed them to resume their operations.
For its part, Skyline points out that in recent months it has seen an increase in attacks against media institutions, syndicates, and press offices, as well as many other news websites and Internet services. This is due to the escalating political conflicts in Sudan, triggered by the military council's seizure of power and the arrest of numerous political figures and individuals.
Skyline reiterates that the closure and withdrawal of licenses of broadcasters and media institutions contradicts international conventions such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states in Article 19: "Everyone has the right to freedom of expression; this right includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing, in print, through the arts, or through any other media of his choice.
Skyline concludes its statement by calling on Sudanese authorities to provide the real reasons for the withdrawal of the broadcast license of the "Al Jazeera Mubasher". It calls on the authorities to take responsibility for ensuring that all parties and individuals can exercise their right to freedom of expression and publication. Skyline also calls on the Sudanese authorities to stop ignoring their legal obligation to support fundamental human rights guaranteed by both Sudanese and international law.