Al Jazeera staffer arrested in Sudan during mass protests

Jamil Ahmad Syed, a correspondent for Al Jazeera, was arrested by Sudanese security officials in Khartoum and held for more than a week before being handed over to police Monday, where he was detained…

Al Jazeera staffer arrested in Sudan during mass protests

Jamil Ahmad Syed, a correspondent for Al Jazeera, was arrested by Sudanese security officials in Khartoum and held for more than a week before being handed over to police Monday, where he was detained and interrogated for several hours by the Sudanese security agencies, according to Al Jazeera’s Mubasher website.

A Sudanese citizen, Syed was arrested during protests in Khartoum that were held after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s decision to grant himself wide-ranging powers. He is alleged to have played a role in filming media coverage of the crackdown.

After his release, police started to drag him away and questioned him and his cameraman about their activities during the protests, according to the Qatar-based network.

Before his arrest, Syed had said to staff that the demonstrators were particularly chanting against him and the network.

“It’s terrible, I cannot talk, they are following us. They are tying my leg to my head. They threaten me, they have a list and I am the name,” he was reported to have said during the rallies by Al Jazeera’s news director.

The network reported that his arrest “comes on the heels of more widespread human rights violations including live bullets being fired into crowds of demonstrators, arbitrary detention and torture of protesters, journalists and demonstrators by state security agents and other security forces,” and that they “need the world’s support”.

“The brutal crackdown, police brutality and arrests have left scores of Sudanese dead, dozens injured and activists detained for days and weeks,” they said.

The Sudanese intelligence services, known as the National Intelligence and Security Services, have been increasingly intolerant of media coverage of the crackdown in the past few months. They have arrested some 40 journalists since March, according to Amnesty International.

A larger crowd of protesters gathered in Khartoum over the weekend. Security forces opened fire. Security forces carried away dead bodies of people killed in the protest and informed families they did not identify the victims, Amnesty International said in a press release Monday. It quoted one of those killed.

“The international community needs to act to avoid a wider crackdown on journalists in Sudan,” said Dewa Aissa, Amnesty International’s Sudan researcher. “This has happened so often and with such brute force that no one can possibly believe the government is serious about negotiations.”

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