FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The United States strongly condemns the reported shutdown of the Khartoum office of Radio Dabanga and the arrests of 13 staff and rights activists who shared the office. Until this weekend, this station was one of the few remaining media outlets reporting from Sudan on the conflict in Darfur.
These arrests indicate an emerging pattern of harassment and intimidation by the Government of Sudan against civil society in advance of the scheduled January 9 referenda. We have already condemned the arrests of individuals in Darfur for speaking to members of the UN Security Council during the Council’s trip to Sudan. The United States is deeply concerned about such actions and reminds the Sudanese Government of its international obligations to respect human rights, including freedoms of assembly and of the press.
Sudan stands at a historic juncture as less than ten weeks remain before the scheduled referenda on self-determination for the people of Southern Sudan and Abyei. The United States urges Sudan’s leaders to choose the path of peace, freedom, and free exchange in order to bring an end to decades of war and suffering.
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