Sudanese journalists killed in protest over bread price

Image copyright Al Jazeera Image caption Jamal al Sharif was arrested along with 14 journalists on Saturday Six people have been killed in Sudan during protests over the price of bread, and a local…

Sudanese journalists killed in protest over bread price

Image copyright Al Jazeera Image caption Jamal al Sharif was arrested along with 14 journalists on Saturday

Six people have been killed in Sudan during protests over the price of bread, and a local head of Al Jazeera Media Network, Jamal al Sharif, has been arrested.

At least 10 people died during the protests, the government said. Protesters reportedly also took to the streets in Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

Lebanon’s army used tear gas to disperse demonstrators and Jordan’s Interior Ministry ordered the closure of all radio and TV stations.

Egypt’s biggest opposition party, the Muslim Brotherhood, was hit by a court order to disband the organisation.

Protests broke out across Sudan after government officials announced increases in bread and petrol prices.

Displays of anger became violent on Saturday when police fired live ammunition at demonstrators at the national bank in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Two youths were killed, a witness told the BBC.

Jamal al Sharif, a Sudanese-American and Al Jazeera’s bureau chief for the country, was arrested after visiting another protest in Khartoum.

In a statement, al Jazeera said: “Jamal al Sharif, Senior Middle East and North Africa Editor for Al Jazeera was immediately arrested. The Government of Sudan denies al Jazeera’s request to have him released.”

Local journalist Salem al Sharqawi also told the BBC that al Sharif had been arrested while going to the demonstrations.

Al Jazeera said he had been detained following a meeting with Sudanese government officials.

Al Jazeera English Editor-in-Chief, Eyad Hamam, described the news of al Sharif’s arrest as “appalling”.

“We condemn this blatant attack on freedom of expression in the strongest terms. Jamal al Sharif is among the finest international journalists in the Arab world and is a brave man, always willing to tell the truth,” he said.

The foreign ministry has not confirmed al Sharif’s arrest.

Videos on social media show him walking into the main building of Al Jazeera’s English and Arabic services. It is unclear where he is being held.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, currently on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court, has said the protests were not representative of the country.

In Kuwait, hundreds of people protested over the inflation of public transport fares, while demonstrations also took place in Lebanon and Jordan.

Israel’s coalition government collapsed after a finance minister quit in a row over the government’s plans to spend public money on settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Jordan’s Interior Ministry said it was suspending Al Arabiya TV, the kingdom’s state-run station, and two other regional news channels because of an “illegal incitement”.

In Egypt, the protesters were in Cairo’s Tahrir Square and other areas of the capital, the BBC’s Cairo-based reporter said.

Up to 200 people demonstrated in the southern city of Assiut, organisers told AFP news agency.

First reactions

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The protest took place just one day after the protests against his government in Syria

In some cases, protesters have been demanding immediate political reform.

Wathiq al-Hamidi, head of the Labour union in Egypt, was among demonstrators in the capital calling for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to step down, according to Egyptian state media.

Our correspondent in Cairo says he also witnessed posters in several mosques that called for the death of leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the current regime.

Egyptian Prime Minister Tarek Kabil sought to assure the country that those who do not carry out their duty will be dealt with according to the law.

Photo: Courtesy of photo 10

Other demonstrations were held in the country’s western Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh and the northern Sinai Peninsula, where gunmen launched a raid on the Egyptian airport on Sunday killing 26.

Activists say at least 150 protesters have been killed since anti-government demonstrations against the rise in fuel prices began on 30 March.

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