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Sudan2 March 2009

Detained journalist put on a flight to London

Reporters Without Borders condemns the deportation of Tunisian journalist Zouhir Latif late yesterday. Latif, who has political refugee status in Britain, was put on a flight bound for London.

A freelance journalist who works for France 24’s Arabic-language service and the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, Latif was arrested at his home by intelligence agents on 27 February and was held for 48 hours before being expelled.

28.02.2009 - Concern about British journalist arrested yesterday in Khartoum

Reporters Without Borders is very worried about Zoheir Latif, a British journalist of Tunisian origin who was arrested yesterday in Khartoum. Thirty hours have gone by since his arrest and it is still not known where he is being held.

“We call on the Sudanese authorities to urgently explain this arrest, which comes less than a month after the expulsion of Heba Aly, a journalist with Canadian and Egyptian dual citizenship. The government must publicly say where Latif is being detained and what he is charged with”, the organisation said.

A freelance journalist who works for France 24’s Arabic-language service and the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, Latif was arrested at his Khartoum home by intelligence agents who confiscated his computer’s hard drive as well as video material and cassettes.

Latif had just spent 21 days in the western region of Darfur although the travel permits issued to the journalists by the authorities are usually for periods no longer than two weeks. According to local sources, his arrest could be linked to this visit to Darfur and the fact that he also works for the World Food Programme, a UN agency.

Heba Aly, who was working in Sudan for various international news media including Bloomberg News and IRIN (a UN humanitarian news agency), was deported on 2 February. Her expulsion may have been linked to her visits to Darfur and her reporting on the local arms industry. Read her story.

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