- Five Sudanese journalists have exposed death threats on their lives and asked the government to launch a large-scale investigation into the issue.
The threatened journalists include a correspondent of Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) in Sudan, Faisal El-Bagir, who also works with the privately-owned Arabic language weekly al-Midan. Others who all worked for another Arabic language daily al-Sahafa are Abdel Moneim Suleiman, Al-Haj Warraq, Al-Tahir Satti and Rabbah Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
Suleiman told a news conference on Wednesday that he had received an anonymous call the previous day from a person in neighbouring Chad who said he had been offered 220,000 dollars by someone in Sudan to kill each of the five journalists. The caller said the journalists were being targeted for their oppositon to the government and their support for the deployment of an international force in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
"The death threats against Bagir and his colleagues must be taken seriously and must be publicly condemned by the Sudanese authorities," the RSF protested. "It is essential that an investigation is carried out to establish the origin of the threatening call and to punish those responsible. We also call on the authorities in Chad, from where the phone call was made, to assist in the investigation in order to ensure that it is successful."
"I will continue the struggle for respect for human rights, peace, democracy and freedom of expression in my country and the entire world. Such threats should not prevent us from doing our work and living our lives," Bagir told RSF.
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