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Sudan bans Al Jazeera amid protests over military rule

By
Darryl Coote
Protests in Sudan have continued since the ousting of former President Omar al-Bashir as the public demands the now-ruling military council to hand over power to civil society. Photo by EPA-EFE
Protests in Sudan have continued since the ousting of former President Omar al-Bashir as the public demands the now-ruling military council to hand over power to civil society. Photo by EPA-EFE

May 31 (UPI) -- Sudan's ruling military closed media organization Al Jazeera's Khartoum bureau and banned its journalists from reporting from the country, the Qatar-based media company said.

"The network sees this as an attack on media freedom, professional journalism and the basic tenets of the right for people to know and understand the reality of what is happening in Sudan," Al Jazeera said Thursday in a statement.

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"The network deplores the decision and assures its audiences in Sudan and globally that it will continue its coverage of Sudan despite this political interference by the Sudanese authorities," it added.

No reason for the closure was given, Al Jazeera said.

"Al Jazeera calls on the Sudanese authorities for the immediate resumption of operations of its Khartoum bureau, in the spirit of the press freedoms guaranteed by the Sudanese constitution," it said.

The decision to close the office was made by the country's ruling Transitional Military Council, which has been in control of Sudan since deposing its president, Omar al-Bashir, April 11 at the urging of protesters.

Since then, protests led by the Declaration of Freedom and Change movement have continued in demand that the TMC hand over rule to civil society.

Also on Thursday, TMC's Gen. Bahar Ahmed, head of the central region in Khartoum, said the site of the ongoing protest in the capital has become "unsafe and represents a danger to the revolution" as well as "threatens the coherence of the state and its national security," Al Jazeera reported.

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