DCMF participates in Sudan workshop

DCMF participates in Sudan workshop

The workshop focussed on media's role in promoting peaceful, just and inclusive societies and the challenges facing journalists in the Arab world
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Doha Centre for Media Freedom participated in a seminar and workshop discussing the role of media in promoting peaceful, fair and inclusive societies organised in Khartoum, Sudan by the Al Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties and Human Rights in partnership with the UN centre for Human Rights Training and Documentation for South West Asia and the Arab Region.

Participants discussed issues related to media freedom during three main sessions on “Freedom of opinion, expression and information,” “The role of media in promoting knowledge, peace and fairness,” and efforts to promote media freedom and the safety of journalists.

In a speech during the opening session of the symposium, Sudanese Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said that the freedom of the press in Sudan is currently increasing on a daily basis as opposed to narrowing. He also noted the role of the press in promoting national dialogue, describing media as important partner in this process.

Bilal stressed the importance of peaceful communication between different communities, and its ability to promote tolerance and openness to others’ points of view.

The minister claimed that Sudan has benefitted from dialogue which has promoted peace and human rights, and expressed his appreciation to the organisers for hosting the conference aimed at building the capacities of journalists, while reiterating his ministry’s support for such initiatives.

Acting director of Al Jazeera, Mustapha Souag said: “The reality of the press in the Arab world is a tragic situation, and globally, freedom of the press has witnessed a dramatic decline that marks a new era in the media, one which we hope will not last long.”

He lamented the fact that at least 14 journalists have been killed in recent months, saying that the majority of the most dangerous countries in the world for journalists, including Syria, Iraq, Yemen and South Sudan, are located in the Arab world.

Journalists in these countries continue to face numerous serious challenges and dangers, from persecution, threats and financial insecurity to attack, kidnapping and murder.

Souag emphasised the importance of bringing together media houses and organisations concerned with defending press freedom and human rights, to provide better protection to journalists and implement initiatives aimed at promoting their safety, as well as combatting the serious threat that impunity poses to media freedom.

The seminar was attended by the president of the Sudanese Journalists Syndicate, Sadiq Al-Rizaqi, director of Al-Jazeera Centre for Public Liberties and Human Rights, Sami Al-Haj and international experts including chairman of the International Press Institute, John Yearwood, and director of the African Media Initiative, Eric Kenji,

The symposium also includes a two-day workshop on "Media, Freedom of Expression, Hate Speech and Violence: Towards Professional Press Coverage and a Better Understanding of Human Rights,” for Arab journalists from inside and outside Sudan.

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