CAIRO — Sudanese authorities have cracked down on Arabic-language foreign media working inside the country, as protests against the autocratic rule of President Omar al-Bashir enter their second month, news channels said.
Qatari satellite broadcaster Al Jazeera said that its correspondents in Sudan had their work permits withdrawn by security officials on Monday, while its Saudi competitor Al Arabiya said its correspondent had his permit revoked as well.
Both channels have been reporting on the unrest despite a media blackout by authorities, who control the press. The unrest began in earnest on Dec. 19 over the failing economy but have led to calls for President Omar al-Bashir's removal.
In a statement late Monday on the Arabic-language Facebook page of its Sudanese channel, Al Jazeera said its Khartoum office was told the decision was made after a review of the work of Osama Said Ahmed and Ahmad al-Ruheid, as well as cameraman Badawi Bashir.
The channel says that the men had previously had their permits approved for 2019 by the government Press Council.
Al Arabiya announced its sanctioning in a tweet also on Monday, saying authorities had stopped correspondent Saad Eddin Hassan from working and withdrawn his permit.
Both Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya have sometimes broadcast the protests live.
Al Jazeera in particular is feared by autocrats in the region for the role it played in the 2011 Arab Spring revolts, when it covered protests and pro-democracy movements up close, introducing notions of freedom of speech and assembly to Arab-speaking publics long ruled by authoritarians.
It is now banned, with varying degrees of success, in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and other areas.