Detained journalist released – some media remains gagged in Sudan

Sudanese authorities have released journalist and Sudan TV staff member Maher Abuljoukh after he spent 33 days in the security service detention centre near the Shendi parking lot in Khartoum North. Media continues to be silenced in Sudan and Hala 96 FM radio has been off air since the morning of the coup on November 25, 2021, by order of the military junta.

Speaking to Radio Dabanga after his release Abuljoukh said that on November 25, he heard knocks on the door of his house in Doroshab, Khartoum North, at exactly 3:30. When he opened the door, he saw four soldiers, three of them armed with Kalashnikovs, the fourth was carrying a pistol.

They told him to get into a four-wheel-drive vehicle, where they seized his mobile phone. He was taken to the detention centre of the Political Security near the Shendi parking lot in Khartoum North – which used to be part of the headquarters of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) during the regime of dictator Omar Al Bashir, and popularly called The Fridges, as it contained detention cells that were kept as cold as possible.

Abuljoukh spent two weeks in solitary confinement. He only left his cell twice, the first time when he was taken to another cell, and the second time to have his head shaved. After that, the treatment changed, and he was allowed to leave his cell, contact his family, and practice sports in the courtyard of the detention centre, where he met with other detainees, including Khaled Omar, Minister of Cabinet Affairs when he was held, journalist Fayez El Seleik, Taha Osman, Jaafar Hasan, Ismail El Taj, and others.

During his detention, Abuljoukh was not subjected to any beatings or insults. The security officer in charge of the detainees told them that they had nothing to do with their detention, and that another party held them.

He explained that they were released after they decided to embark on a hunger strike on Thursday, November 25.

Abuljoukh said he was held because he expressed his opinion about what he considers to be correct towards a Sudanese, civilian and democratic country whose people enjoy freedom, peace and full democracy.

Source: Radio Dabanga