The IFJ [International Federation of Journalists] urged the Transitional Military Council in Sudan to revoke a decree freezing the activities of trade unions, including the journalists union.
The TMC has also ordered unions to hold new leadership elections under the auspices of the Registrar General of Trade Unions – a part of the Ministry of Labour.
The move constitutes a gross violation of the fundamental right to freedom of association and a serious breach of the ILO Conventions governing freedom of association. The IFJ has written to the International Labour Organisation and the UN human rights experts of freedom of association and freedom of expression urging them to intervene in this matter with the Sudanese authorities as a matter of urgency.
IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger said: “This is an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of trade unions and a breach of ILO Conventions which guarantee workers’ organisations can operate free from state interference. Sudan and its military rulers are bound by these international conventions. The military authorities have no business interfering in the elections process or the affairs of the journalists union and the order should be revoked. We urge the ILO to meet with the Sudanese authorities at the earliest opportunity to address this gross threat to freedom of association.”
The IFJ offered its full solidarity and support to the leadership and the membership of Sudan Journalists Union (SJU), and will do everything in their power to protect its affiliated union and journalists of Sudan.
The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) Steering Committee also extended its undivided solidarity and support to Sudan Journalists Union (SJU) and vowed to mobilize continental action to preserve the independence and freedom of SJU.