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 Full text 
Procedure : 2017/2961(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Select a document: :

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 16/11/2017 - 4.1
CRE 16/11/2017 - 4.1

Votes :

PV 16/11/2017 - 7.1

Texts adopted :


Thursday, 16 November 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition

4.1. Freedom of expression in Sudan, notably the case of Mohamed Zine El Abidine
Video of the speeches

  Charles Tannock, author . – Mr President, a free press is one of the essentials for ensuring that a meaningful democratic system can function operating under the rule of law. Without such an underpinning, other efforts and programmes aimed at improving good governance and development are always undermined.

I am pleased that we are therefore taking the opportunity today to shine a spotlight on the terrible state of press freedom in Sudan, particularly illustrated by the case of journalist Mohamed Zine al-Abidine and his editor-in-chief Osman Mirgani. Al-Abidine, in a clear case of political persecution and selective justice, has been sentenced to a suspended sentence of five years, ostensibly for writing a piece alleging corruption associated with the ruling family of President Omar al-Bashir. Whilst this is a most egregious example, it is sadly not an isolated case. In 2016, there were 44 occurrences of confiscated publications affecting 12 different newspapers, which gives you an idea of the widespread nature of such repressive practices in Sudan.

All of this is in clear contradiction of the Cotonou Agreement. I hope that today’s debate will serve as a call on the Commission to remind the Sudanese authorities of their obligations under international law.

Last updated: 30 January 2018Legal notice