Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sudan presses new Press Law, What dose it means for journalist

TOI_press         Finally the Sudanese national Assembly passed Sudan new press law on Monday June 8. but the question is what is the deference between the first draft and the final draft of this press law. is there still remain some restriction to the right of journalist or not in this new press law.I have posted a blog post about this law when it was in the bill stage (proposed Law stage)  in a blog post titled STOP Censorship: Sudan Government tries to issue law on journalism. the bill has finally became a law and it has been passed.  nonetheless as i asked previously what is the deference from the first draft and the final draft of this law. to answer this question lets just go back in time and see what had happened inside Sudan National Assembly Parliament that led to this law bill to change for lesser restriction against journalist. when the bill was suggested in the National Assembly many members of the parliament have abandoned there seat to exit the building in a strong retributive reaction toward the bill. in this post i would like to state what was the restriction that the bill imposed and what wore the reaction of some parliament members toward this law.

for example a spoke personal from the national alliance stated

Parliamentary member Farouk Abu-Issa, head of the National Democratic Alliance,
who calls the bill “unjust, repressive and vague”, says that he and other independent deputies presented a “good democratic draft of [a] press law”, but this was ignored by parliament.

and also for example an editor-in chief of a news paper

Murtada al-Ghali, editor-in chief of the Freedom Bells newspaper, described the draft law as the most “restrictive” media legislation to emerge in Sudan.

“The law insists… on punishment,” he said, “[and] it is aggressive punishment.”

Some of the most controversial issues that circled around this bill was the finical punishment  and banning/suspension punishment toward the newspaper or the Author. The financial punishment  toward the newspaper or the author could reach up to 50,000 Sudanese Pounds or 21,000 US dollar which is a huge sum of money in a developing country such as Sudan for a journalist. in case of the banning/suspension  of the newspaper of the journalist articles the duration is to be decided by the court. the new change in the bill from it first draft is that the payment of 21,000 US has been removed but the court can assign a payment penalty to a journalist or the newspaper. in the banning/suspension case it is still under the court jurisdiction to decide the time and the duration of the suspension. of course what i have just discussed in this post is just the tip of the iceberg in the criteria and requirement that comes with the passing of this law on journalist and newspaper. Nevertheless the good news is that the change toward more freedom of expression and less restriction and punishment has been felt in the final draft of this article more this it first draft. as one of the newpaper editor in chief state that the change to the final version from the first version is almost 80%. this of course after many protest toward the law from outside(by journalist) and and inside the parliament(by parliament Members).

As for my reaction lets just say no comment!!!!!!!. but here is what i can say there still hopes in changing this law and i hope for those parliament members to push more for lesser restriction before the upcoming election in 2010. as for you dear reader i know i cant request you to shear your thought in this case(sorry for the no comment statement) , but wishes that if you have any comment or an issues you wish to state please feel free to do so.


article related to this law

Reuters: Sudan gets new press law but restrictions remain

All Africa: Sudan: Press Law Storm

Sudan Tribune: Sudanese parliament pass new press law

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