PRESS RELEASE July 7, 2010 CONTACT: Andrea Clarke Senior Communications Director 202.460.6756 andrea@savedarfur.

org

Save Darfur Coalition Condemns Recent Crackdown on Press and Sudanese Civilians
The United States must not tolerate renewed press censorship and arrest of student leaders
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Save Darfur Coalition strongly condemns the recent crackdowns by the Sudanese government, which has resulted in three national daily newspapers being shut down and three students being arrested and tortured for distributing magazines. According to the Associated Press, Sudan intelligence services on Tuesday imposed press censorship, which was lifted in September, six months ahead of a key referendum on independence for south Sudan. The three daily newspapers, Al-Intibaha, Al-Tayyar and Al-Ahdath, were not available on the streets of the capital of Khartoum on Tuesday. In addition to this move, three students were arrested for handing out magazines on behalf of Girifna, a non-violent student movement. Their homes were searched before they were taken into custody by intelligence services and subjected to extensive questioning and torture. These arrests are the latest in a string of attacks on civil society in Sudan, which has seen an increasingly repressive environment for human rights defenders in the months since elections. The tactic of referring detainees from police custody to intelligence offices has begun to be employed systematically, sending clear signals to civil society and the broader human rights community that any offense will be treated as a national security issue. Mark Lotwis, Acting President of the Save Darfur Coalition said: "Clearly, both cases are of serious concern, and signal a new wave of repression. With the national election over, this renewed censorship will focus on the issue of the country's unity or separation and the security of south Sudan as it approaches the January 2011 national referendum. The United States should not view a government that randomly arrests student leaders, shuts down newspapers and intimidates human rights activists, as a party committed to peace. The United States government should condemn these actions and convey to the Sudanese government that this behavior will negatively impact its relationship with the United States and the international community.” ###

The Save Darfur Coalition is an alliance of more than 190 faith-based, advocacy and human rights organizations – raises public awareness about the ongoing crisis in Darfur and mobilizes a unified response to promote peace throughout the Darfur region and all of Sudan. The coalition’s member organizations represent 130 million people of all ages, races, religions and political affiliations united together to help the people of Sudan. Please join the movement at www.SaveDarfur.org.

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