Sudan court fines award-winning journalist

Amal Habani
Updated 10 July 2017
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Sudan court fines award-winning journalist

KHARTOUM: A Sudanese court Monday ordered award-winning journalist Amal Habani to pay a fine or face jail time in a case where a security officer accused her of preventing him from doing his job.
Habani, winner of an Amnesty International prize for reporting on human rights in Sudan, was ordered to pay 10,000 Sudanese pounds ($1,430) or face a jail term of four months.
The court found her guilty in a case filed by a security officer who accused her of preventing him from doing his job during the March trial of three rights activists.
“This is injustice. I was covering a trial of human rights activists when the security officer beat me,” Habani told AFP by telephone from the court on Monday.
“When I complained against him, he filed a case against me. I will not pay the fine but rather go to jail.”
Her lawyer Ahmed Elshukri said he will file an appeal against the court’s order.
Habani, who writes for online Sudanese newspaper Al-Taghyeer, said the incident with the security officer occurred when she was taking pictures on her mobile phone outside a court during the March trial.
“He stopped me from taking pictures and confiscated my phone,” she said.
Habani’s case is the latest example of the restrictive environment in which journalists in Sudan often have to work, an issue regularly highlighted by rights groups.
Sudan regularly ranks near the bottom of international press freedom rankings.
Global rights groups have often accused Sudan’s powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of detaining human rights workers, opposition politicians and journalists.
Agents of the NISS regularly confiscate entire print runs of newspapers without giving a reason, particularly when they publish articles opposing government policies.


Dozens of bodies found in Raqqa mass grave

Updated 17 min 10 sec ago
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Dozens of bodies found in Raqqa mass grave

  • Raqqa was the de facto “capital” of the Daesh group in northern Syria until the terror group was ousted by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October 2017
  • Daesh has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations

QAMISHLI, Syria: Dozens of bodies, including those of jihadists and civilians, have been found in a mass grave in the former Daesh group stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, a local official said on Saturday.
The former de facto “capital” of the group in northern Syria, Raqqa saw the jihadists ousted by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October 2017.
Nearly 50 bodies had already been recovered from the mass grave, which could contain up to 200 bodies, Abdallah Al-Eriane, a senior official with Raqqa Civil Council now running the city, said,
The mass grave was located under a football pitch, close to a hospital where the jihadists had dug in before being chased out of the city.
“It was apparently the only place available for burials, which were done in haste. The jihadists were holed up in the hospital,” the official said, adding that some bodies were marked with the nom de guerre of the jihadist while civilians just had first names.
In recent months, both Syria and Iraq have discovered mass graves in areas previously occupied by the jihadists.
Syrian troops uncovered a mass grave containing the remains of more than 30 people killed by Daesh in Raqqa province in February.
It followed two other similar finds by the Syrian army.
The Daesh group, which proclaimed a “caliphate” over swathes of Syria and Iraq in 2014, has now lost almost all the land it once controlled.
It has been held responsible for multiple atrocities during its reign of terror, including mass executions and decapitations.