Sudan: The authorities' refusal to register the Journalists' Syndicate violates applicable legal norms
Stockholm - Skyline International for Human Rights is astonished by the decision of the Sudanese authorities to refuse the official registration of the Journalists Syndicate within the country's trade unions, and stresses that this delay and refusal is an incomprehensible violation of the legal provisions that guarantee it.
In a statement released today (Monday), echoing the statement issued by the Journalists' Syndicate, Skyline notes that "the Register of Labor Organizations affiliated with the Department of Justice has rejected the filing of the articles of incorporation of the Syndicate, its board of directors and the members of its executive office," after five months had passed since the filing of the application. The Registrar General of Labor Organizations justified its refusal to accept the Journalists' Syndicate's application on the pretext that it violated the 2010 Law on Trade Unions.
Skyline states that the authorities' recent decision not to register the Journalists Syndicate has sparked a great wave of solidarity and criticism, as 20 trade union and professional associations issued a joint statement expressing their condemnation: "The refusal of the existing authority to recognize democratic trade unions is a violation of human rights."
They pointed out that the refusal "is considered an abandonment of Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and the Right to Organize," which Sudan has ratified and which has been in force since March 2022. The joint statement called on all independent and emerging trade union organizations to join the international labor principles and declare their trade union solidarity with the Journalists Syndicate and other trade union organizations.
The 20 organizations, including the Sudanese Teachers Committee, the Sudanese Artisans and Workers Association, and the Democratic Lawyers Alliance, agreed to take action against all union violations. It should be noted here that on September 1, 2022, the results of the Journalists Syndicate elections were officially announced, based on International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 87, which grants workers the right to form organizations without administrative interference or prior authorization.
For its part, Skyline expresses concern that the decision not to register the Journalists Syndicate may have a political dimension, especially as local human rights news and reports reflect an escalation in arrests and detentions of dissidents, media workers, and activists under the pretext of belonging to the former regime and committing crimes against the state.
Skyline concludes its statement by calling on the Sudanese authorities to allow the Journalists' Syndicate to be registered in the lists of professional syndicates and to grant it the necessary licenses based on Sudanese and international legislation. It stresses that the delay of the authorities in granting the necessary licenses to the syndicate is a serious and unjustified violation, especially since the registration of syndicates is considered one of the fundamental rights guaranteed to entities and professional centers.
Skyline also calls on Sudanese authorities to cease persecution and arrest campaigns against dissidents, activists, and journalists and allow them to express their views and practice their professions without restriction or persecution.