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February 4, 2011

Two journalists held in Sudan crackdown

Top Story

February 4, 2011

KHARTOUM, Sudan: Two Sudanese journalists working for an communist opposition newspaper have been arrested in Khartoum, a party spokesman said on Thursday.
“Two journalists with (communist party newspaper) Al-Maidan were arrested by security officers as they left their office last night (Wednesday),” said Saddiq Yussef, giving their names as Samir Salaheddin and Muhammed Hamza.
There was no immediate confirmation of the arrests, which follow sharp protests and a crackdown on the media. More than 10 journalists were held Sunday during anti-government rallies in Khartoum broken up by riot police. At least 70 protesters were detained.
One student demonstrators beaten by police died from his wounds on Monday, his fellow students said. The police denied the claim, and warned against “rumours which are aimed at undermining security and stability.” At least one of the journalists arrested during the demonstrations is still being held, according to his colleagues, while the authorities blocked the distribution of two independent newspapers on Monday.
The student and youth groups organising the protests, inspired by events in Tunisia and neighbouring Egypt, are demanding regime change, job opportunities and an end to Sudan’s economic crisis that has driven up food and fuel prices as the cash-strapped government seeks to cut subsidies. They have vowed to hold more demonstrations on Thursday.
Demonstrations took place again in the Sudanese capital on Tuesday, at Al-Nilein University and in the Al-Kalakla district of south Khartoum. Five Darfuri students were arrested in the university protest, in what the Darfuri students association said on Wednesday was part of a racist campaign.
Top officials in Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party have called the protests illegal and say the government does not fear popular protests of the kind that have shaken the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Another five student

activists were arrested on Monday evening at the opposition Umma party headquarters in Omdurman, Khartoum’s twin city, according to senior party member Mariam al-Mahdi, daughter of former prime minister Sadeq al-Mahdi.

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