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Sudan's military rulers shut down Al-Jazeera Khartoum bureau

Sudan's military rulers yesterday ordered the Khartoum bureau of Al-Jazeera to be shut down and banned its staff from working in the country, the Qatari-broadcaster said today.
Al-Jazeera studio.
Forces yesterday raided the outlet without providing a reason and confiscated work permits for staff and broadcasting equipment, Hassan Saeed Elmogummer Taha, an Al-Jazeera news producer based in Qatar, told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

The raid came hours after Major General Othman Hamed, who heads the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, threatened to disperse a sit-in that helped oust former President Omar al-Bashir, calling the continued demonstration a "threat to the revolution" and a hub for criminals, according to news reports. Since Bashir's ouster last month, a transitional military council has ruled Sudan, while protesters continue to call for a civilian government.

"The raid and closure of Al-Jazeera's Khartoum bureau is a worrying sign that Sudan's military rulers intend to suppress coverage of pro-democracy events," said CPJ Middle East and North Africa coordinator Sherif Mansour. "This action belies military leaders' statements that they intend to serve and protect the public; they should immediately reverse course and allow Al-Jazeera to operate freely."

In January, Sudanese security officials revoked the credentials of international journalists who covered protests against Bashir, including correspondents for Al-Jazeera and Al Arabiya, the outlets reported.
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