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Sudan: 30 Journalists start biggest ever hunger strike of the country

Omar Hassan Ahmad al-Bashir, president of Sudan, sits in the Plenary Hall of the United Nations (UN) building in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the 12th African Union (AU) Summit.

El Tayar reporters were greeted by hundreds of supporters at the newspaper’s offices which becomes the biggest strike of its kind in the country, in Khartoum on Tuesday.

Journalist wore chains , linked hands and assembled in front of the building to announce their plans before retreating inside the building to begin their sit-in.

“We want to draw attention to the difficulties faced by journalists and the restrictions on the freedom of press in the country in general,” said Khalid Fathi, the newspaper’s managing editor.

“This is the first ever hunger strike by journalists in the history of Sudanese press, and the first to happen outside a prison.” Shama’il Alnour, a reporter and columnist at El Tayar said.

She added the protest wasn’t just about lifting the ban on the newspaper. “Of course we have the immediate goal of having the suspension lifted. But in general we are using El Tayar’s case as an example while we defend freedom of expression.”

El Tayar’s editor-in-chief, Osman Marghani, is currently facing death penalty over accusations he used the publication to “incite an Arab spring” in the country.
“The best outcome we anticipate from this [strike] is that the culture of protest, peaceful protest that is, spreads among Sudanese people,” he said.

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