On 16 January 2002, a Sudanese court ordered the editor of the English language newspaper "Khartoum Monitor" to pay a five million Sudanese pound (approx. U$1,950) fine over an article published in the paper that accused the government of facilitating slavery.
IFEX- News from the international freedom of expression community
ALERT - SUDAN
5 February 2002
English-language newspaper and its editor fined heavily
SOURCE: Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE), Toronto
**For further information on prior harassment of the "Khartoum Monitor", see
IFEX alerts of 12 October, 12 September, 16 April and 27 February 2001**
(IFEX/CJFE) - On 16 January 2002, a Sudanese court ordered the editor of the
English-language newspaper "Khartoum Monitor" to pay a five million Sudanese
pound (approx. U$1,950) fine over an article published in the paper that
the government of facilitating slavery.
The newspaper itself was also fined 15 million Sudanese pounds (approx.
In the article, editor Nhial Bol wrote, "Slavery is practised because the
government facilitates it by allowing Arab raiders to use government-owned
trains for ferrying the abducted people."
Bol was initially imprisoned because of the newspaper's inability to pay the
fine. However, a local businessman loaned the five million Sudanese pounds
order to secure his release. "Khartoum Monitor" staff report that he now
his money back. Bol himself stated that, if that money cannot be returned on
time, the businessman will arrange for authorities to have the editor
The second fine, which the newspaper unsuccessfully attempted to have
must be paid by 20 February.
The "Khartoum Monitor", which was launched in 2000, faces four court trials
other charges related to public security. It is feared that, if money cannot
found both to cover the fines and to pay legal defence fees, the newspaper
soon go out of business.
The "Khartoum Monitor" has been critical of the government's human rights
record, particularly in southern Sudan, where rebels seek more autonomy for
mainly Christian and animist African south.
Human rights groups maintain that the war in southern Sudan has forced
into slavery. The Sudanese government disputes these accusations.
For further information, contact the CJFE, 489 College Street, Suite 403,
Toronto, Ontario M6G 1A5 Canada, tel: +1 416 515 9622, fax: +1 416 515 7879,
e-mail: [email protected], Internet: http://www.cjfe.org
The information contained in this alert is the sole responsibility of CJFE.
citing this material for broadcast or publication, please credit CJFE.
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