Al Jazeera Center for Public Liberties and Human Rights, in collaboration with the United Nations Center for Training and Documentation, and the Sudanese Union of Journalists, held a seminar in Khartoum on freedom of press, the role of the media in promoting societies and the realities of abuses, and efforts to protect the journalists, as well as the challenges encountered. The seminar addressed the various challenges that journalists face while carrying out their missions and tasks.
Dr. Mostefa Souag, Acting Director General of Al Jazeera, was a keynote speaker in the seminar. In his speech, Dr. Souag underlined the necessity for coordination between news organizations and the institutions working in the field of freedom of expression to pursue violators of press freedom and those who practice aggression on journalists. He called the participants in the seminar to support and sign the draft of Universal Declaration for Journalists Protection, submitted to the United Nations to be officially issued as a binding document to countries all over the world.
Dr. Souag reviewed the ranking of the organizations that fight for press freedom and public liberties in the Arab region. He emphasized their role in highlighting the fundamental freedom realities on the ground in the Arab region. Dr. Souag named a number of countries that came at the end of the list including Sudan, which ranked 174th, Syria 177th, Egypt 161st, Yemen 174th, in the list of 180 countries. He stressed that Egypt, according to international reports, topped the list of arbitrary arrests of journalists since it has 65 journalists detained in its jails. He called for solidarity with our colleague Mahmoud Hussein, who has been detained by Egyptian authorities for more than 140 days without a trial.