Freedom House Calls for Release of Sudanese Journalist
Freedom House calls for the immediate release of prominent Sudanese journalist and human rights activist, Faisal Mohamed Salih, who was arrested by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) on Tuesday, May 8 outside his home in Khartoum. Mr. Salih was arrested after two weeks of daily harassment by security personnel since his appearance Al-Jazeera channel on April 19th, where he criticized the Sudanese government.
According to Mr. Faisal Elbagir of Journalists for Human Rights, Sudan, he is deeply concerned with Mr. Salih’s whereabouts which are unknown. His family has not been able to reach him or get any information about his situation. Mr. Salih was targeted by the Sudanese government throughout 2011 for his critical voice on human rights issues, especially the rape of youth activist, Safia Ishag, at the hands of security personnel.
Freedom House demands that the Sudanese authorities immediately charge or release Mr. Salih, and provide him access to legal assistance as well as access to his family. The Sudanese government must also release all political prisoners, cease its harassment of journalists and continuing confiscation of independent newspapers.
Sudan, ruled by a military-backed regime that brought President Omar al-Bashir to power in 1989, is considered by Freedom House to be one of the world's worst human rights abusers. According to the Freedom of the Press 2012 publication, Sudan is ranked 170 out of 197 countries assessed. President Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide for his involvement in the Darfur conflict. Since South Sudan achieved independence in July 2011, Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party has brutally cracked down on peaceful protests throughout the country and continued to fight rebels in Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile states in an effort to maintain its grip on power. The recent border conflict with South Sudan has intensified the government’s crackdown on opposition voices throughout the country.
A letter released by Faisal Mohamed Salih a day before his arrest on Facebook