Sudanese journalist accused of ‘apostasy’
19 Feb 2017 - 13:11
KHARTOUM: A call by a radical Sudanese preacher for trying a female journalist on apostasy charges has invited a storm of condemnations across Sudan.
On Friday, Mohammed Ali al-Gizoli called for putting journalist Shamail Alnour on trial for apostasy for writing an article about the use of condoms as a way of protecting people against the spread of HIV.
Speaking during the weekly Friday sermon, he appealed to his supporters to champion a campaign for putting the female journalist on trial.
“We consider this a serious setback to the freedom of expression in the country,” the Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN) said in a statement on Saturday.
The NGO said it was extremely concerned over threats made by “extremists” against Sudanese journalists.
“We call on the authorities to shoulder their responsibilities to protect the press and the journalists in the country,” it added.
Hundreds of Sudanese human rights activists have also posted messages of support with the female journalist on social media.
Activists also accused Sudanese security agencies of supporting attempts to intimidate journalists in the country.
Apostasy is punishable by death in Sudan.
WHO estimates that there are around 56,000 people living with HIV in Sudan, including 3500 children and 2300 pregnant women.
The first AIDS case was reported in Sudan in 1986.