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Sudan7 December 2007

Death threats against Reporters Without Borders correspondent and four other journalists

Reporters Without Borders voiced deep concern today about death threats made on 4 December against Faisal El-Bagir of the privately-owned Arabic-language weekly Al-Midan and four journalists employed by the privately-owned Arabic-language daily Al-Sahafa - Abdel Moneim Suleiman, Al-Haj Warraq, Al-Tahir Satti and Rabbah Al-Sadiq Al-Mahdi. Bagir is also the Reporters Without Borders Sudan correspondent.

“The death threats against Bagir and his colleagues must be taken seriously and must be publicly condemned by the Sudanese authorities,” the press freedom organisation said. “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.”

At a news conference on 5 December, Suleiman said 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 added that they were being targeted because of their opposition to the government and their support for the deployment of an international force in Darfur.

Bagir told Reporters Without Borders : “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.”

The five threatened journalists have asked the authorities to conduct an investigation.



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