Sudan Releases Al Jazeera Journalist Two Days After Arrest

The Qatar-based network on Tuesday confirmed the release of Al Jazeera television’s Khartoum bureau chief by the Sudanese authorities two days after security forces arrested him from his home. 

Al-Musalami al-Kabbashi’s arrest was the latest since a military coup three weeks ago and came after tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets on Saturday to demand a transition to civilian rule.

Kabbashi, a Sudanese citizen, “was released on Tuesday… the military has yet to give a reason for his detention,” the network said.

The editor in chief of the armed forces newspaper, Ibrahim al-Hory, charged that Al Jazeera had “published unrealistic reports and released old videos and hosted hostile personalities that instigated strife.”

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Al Jazeera has given prominent coverage to the anti-coup demonstrations but has also aired a detailed interview with top general Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.

Late Monday, Al Jazeera reported that Kabbashi had been taken to prison despite a prosecutor’s order for his release.

Judicial decisions have been disregarded on several occasions since the coup. Lawyer Enaam Attik said that the prosecutors had ordered the release of 50 people arrested during Saturday’s rallies but “police took them to an unknown location”.

The internet has remained largely cut in Sudan despite a court order last week to restore services.

Burhan declared a state of emergency on October 25, ousted the government and detained the civilian leadership.

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The army’s power grab has derailed a transition to full civilian rule, sparked international condemnation and provoked regular protests.

Burhan insists the military’s move “was not a coup” but a push to “rectify the course of the transition”.

The anti-coup demonstrations have been met by a deadly crackdown that has left at least 23 people dead. Saturday was the bloodiest day so far with eight people killed.

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