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net/report-news/fi-al-mizan-team-defy-censor ship Fi al Mizan Team Defy Censorship More than a million people in Darfur and Chad tune in to weekly justice radio pr ogramme. By IWPR staff - International Justice - ICC 30 Nov 10 * The On the Scale team: From Left to Right, Assadig Mustafa Zakaria Musa, S imon Jennings, Katy Glassborow and Tajeldin Abdhalla Adam * 1 Amid a crackdown on press freedom by the Sudanese government, a radio programme on justice issues, co-produced by IWPR and Dutch-based Radio Dabanga, continues to provide a rare source of impartial news to Darfuris and refugees in eastern C had. The weekly programme Fi al Mizan, or On the Scale, investigates justice issues a ffecting people's everyday lives and is translated into Arabic as well as three local languages: Fur, Zaghawa and Masalit. Airing in Sudan and eastern Chad, it reaches more than a million internally disp laced persons, IDPs, residents and refugees on a weekly basis. Not only has Khartoum attempted to block the station's signal, but a Radio Daban ga contributor, Abdelrahman Adam Abdelrahman, was recently among a group of huma n rights activists arrested by the government. He is being held in detention wit hout access to a lawyer or contact with his family. (See - The Perils of Reporti ng in Sudan) Radio Dabanga's production team - Tajeldin Abdhalla Adam, Assadig Mustafa Zakari a Musa, Katy Glassborow and Simon Jennings - who broadcast from The Netherlands due to Sudanese government censorship, say they are determined to continue provi ding impartial news. "Being a journalist in a place like Sudan is very harsh, and even dangerous," Ad am said. "The recent wave of arrests of journalists conducted by the security fo rces, including our colleague Abdelrahman, is no surprise. Despite all the diffi culties and the government crackdown on media and ongoing censorship, it is impe rative for Fi al Mizan to carry out our work because it is the only viable optio n for the people on the ground to have access to independent and unbiased news o n all justice-related issues." Abdelrahman is accused of several serious charges, including crimes against the state. He is one of a growing number of detained journalists considered members of the opposition by President Omar al-Bashir's ruling National Congress Party. "The press and the journalists inside Sudan encounter a lot of problems while th ey work to communicate information to ordinary people about what is going on in Darfur," Musa said. "The government doesn't want this, and because of their poli cy, there is no freedom of speech or freedom of the press in Sudan. Through Radi o Dabanga, we try to let people get information about their own lives and what i s going on elsewhere." Musa added that the programme had been dogged by government interference ever si nce it launched two years ago.

"But we know that people view us as a hope, and we are going to do our job anywa y, because we know that people need to know their rights in order to survive," h e said. As well as covering wider legal topics including the immunity granted to governm ent officials and ICC-related developments in the country, Fi al Mizan - which l aunched in November 2009 - has also addressed local justice in Sudan. This has included an alleged financial scam in El Fasher, north Darfur, known as the Mawasir market, which led thousands of Darfuris to lose millions of dollars . And earlier this year, a three-programme series explored the difficulties of pro secuting the crime of rape in Sudan, explaining what sexual violence is; how it is treated under international law and the problems encountered when prosecuting the crime locally.