Sudan security forces arrest Al Jazeera bureau chief in Khartoum

El Musalmi El Kabbashi was taken into custody after security forces raided his home overnight, the broadcaster said.

The headquarters of Al Jazeera Media Network, in Doha, Qatar [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]
No reason has been given for El Kabbashi's detention [Showkat Shafi/Al Jazeera]

Al Jazeera condemns the arrest of its Sudan bureau chief by security forces in the capital, Khartoum, and demands his immediate release.

El Musalmi El Kabbashi was taken into custody after security forces raided his home overnight.

No reason has been given for his detention.

“Al Jazeera condemns in the strongest terms the reprehensible actions of the military and calls on the authorities to release El Kabbashi immediately and to allow its journalists to operate unhindered, free to practice their profession without fear or intimidation,” the Doha-based broadcaster said in a statement on Sunday.

“The network holds the Sudanese military authority responsible for the safety of all its employees,” Al Jazeera said.

“In a world in which the media and journalists face increasing threats, Al Jazeera views this as an attack on press freedom as a whole and calls on international human rights and media organisations to condemn this infringement of journalists’ safety,” the statement read.

It is not the first time Sudanese authorities have targeted Al Jazeera. In 2019, security forces closed the broadcaster’s office in Khartoum and revoked the work permits of the network’s correspondents in the country.

The detention of El Kabbashi comes a day after security forces live bullets and tear gas at anti-coup protesters in Khartoum and its twin city of Omdurman, killing at least six people.

Security forces also stormed a hospital in Omdurman and detained several wounded people, according to doctors.

Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital and elsewhere on Saturday to protest against last month’s coup.

Protesters also oppose the creation of a new governing council by the head of the army this week that excluded any representatives from the civilian Forces of Freedom and Change alliance.

General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led the military’s takeover on October 25, reappointed himself as head of the Sovereign Council on Thursday.

The military was due to hand over the body’s leadership to civilians in the coming months.

Western countries have urged the military to reverse its coup.

Source: Al Jazeera