SUDAN WATCH: Rob Crilly reporting from Darfur is yet to meet an IDP who has heard of ICC

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Rob Crilly reporting from Darfur is yet to meet an IDP who has heard of ICC

Sorry I cannot find any recent news reports from Reuters by Englishman Andrew Heavens in Khartoum.  Maybe he is on holiday.  There doesn't seem to be a news blackout. Since arriving in Darfur on February 24, Irishman Rob Crilly, a freelance journalist who writes for The Times and Irish Times, has managed to access Twitter and his blog. Here is a copy of some recent messages from Rob via Twitter:
On tarmac in geneina en route to nyala. Remind me never to fly in a yak-42 again. In-flight mag is in russian
5:57 AM Feb 24th from txt

robcrilly: Nyala. Totally fricking incommunicado. Govt has turned off mobile phone network. Even my Thuraya is not working properly. All ahead of ICC
Twitter / robcrilly 26/2/09 12:51

robcrilly: Authorities not letting me spend much time in the camps. But have yet to meet a single IDP who has heard of the ICC.
Twitter / robcrilly 28/2/09 09:57
Best of British luck chaps.

Meanwhile, from Reuters 28 February 2009 KHARTOUM - excerpt:
British-Tunisian journalist held in Sudan
Sudanese police have detained a British-Tunisian journalist for breaking immigration rules and engaging in "activities not covered by his mandate," Sudanese authorities said Saturday.

A spokesman for Sudan's security services said Zuhair Latif had entered Sudan legally but subsequently violated immigration regulations.

He added Latif had "performed activities not covered by his mandate" but declined to give details and did not specify when he was arrested.

Authorities were considering whether to press charges against Latif or deport him, and could make a decision within the next few days, the spokesman said.

He gave no further details about Latif and no one from the British embassy could be reached for comment.
- - -

From The Scotsman 28 February 2009:
British journalist missing in Sudan
A FREELANCE British journalist has been detained by Sudanese security and his whereabouts are unknown, it was claimed last night. The British Embassy is investigating.

Friends of Zuhair Latif said security personnel went to his house yesterday and confiscated his documents, tapes and computer. Mr Latif, who is of Tunisian origin, has freelanced for the United Nations.
- - -

UPDATE SUNDAY 1 MARCH 2009:

From Sudan Tribune Sunday 1 March 2009 - excerpt:
Press watchdog expresses concern about Tunisian journalist arrested in Sudan
February 28, 2009 (PARIS) — A press watchdog expressed concern over the fate of a Tunisian journalist arrested by the Sudanese security yesterday in Khartoum. His friends said his whereabouts are unknown.

"We call on the Sudanese authorities to urgently explain this arrest, which comes less than a month after the expulsion of Heba Aly, a journalist with Canadian and Egyptian dual citizenship. The government must publicly say where Latif is being detained and what he is charged with", said Reporters Without Borders in a statement released today.

A freelance journalist who works for France 24’s Arabic-language service and the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, Zuhair Latif was arrested by the Sudanese security services in his house on Friday after confiscating his computer hard drive, documents and tapes. [...]

Latif had just spent 21 days in Darfur although the travel permits issued to the journalists by the authorities are usually for periods no longer than two weeks. According to local sources, his arrest could be linked to this visit to Darfur and the fact that he also works for the World Food Programme, a UN agency.

The British Embassy in Khartoum today said Latif was not a British citizen.

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