- The authorities in Khartoum released a newspaper reporter with the privately-owned daily 'Al-Rai al-Aam' on Tuesday, after detaining him for two weeks. Abu Obeida Abdallah was arrested in connection with the assassination of a Sudanese editor, Mohamed Taha, who ran the privately-owned 'Al-Wafaq' in Sudan.
According to sources, Mr Abdallah had informed some people about the assassination of Mr Taha hours before it had occurred. A witness who was also detained in connection with the death purportedly told investigators that Mr Abdallah had called him few hours before Taha was killed, informing him that the murder was going to take place. Mr Abdallah denied the allegation.
Earlier, the Paris-based media watchdog Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) called on the Sudanese authorities to justify the secret detention of Abu Obeida Abdallah by security forces without any official explanation.
"The Sudanese authorities must provide an explanation about the holding of Abu Obeida Abdallah" RSF voiced. "If he is being held because of his work the journalist should be released immediately and without any action taken against him".
"If he is being held for other reasons, we demand that they be made public and that his right to impartial proceedings be respected," the press freedom group added.
The Sudanese Information Ministry admitted on 2 October that police were holding the journalist for "investigation" and said he would shortly be freed but without elaborating. Obeida Abdallah has had no contact with colleagues or family since 29 September or any access to a lawyer, which violates Sudanese laws that disallow the detention of suspects for than 48 hours without charge.
His colleagues believed his arrest might have stemmed from his sensitive coverage of the Darfur peace talks between the government and rebel groups in Abuja in May 2006.
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