lundi 4 février 2013

Murad Muodia: the man who wants free speech for Sudan

Sudan, the rogue state 

Sudan: thirty million inhabitants, five hundred different tribes and 135 languages, all governed by a Muslim government using the Sharia law. Since 1958, Sudan has experienced three military coups and only few very short parliamentary periods. Currently, it is still being run by Muhamed Al Bashir, after his military coup in 1989. Since then, crime and genocide often encouraged by the government in Khartoum have given the country a bad name. The most frightening example of this, would be the Darfur conflict which generated terrible consequences for the population, including the death of 300,000 people and the obligation for many inhabitants to leave their homes. Several opposition movements have accused the Khartoum government of initiating a war against the black population of Sudan, that quickly turned into a genocide. In addition, Sudan has also seen the rise of jihadist terrorism, along with Al Qaeda, all of which is being ignored and even, once again, encouraged by the government, who passed secret deals with terrorist groups.As Murad Muodia said, “right now, the war is going on”, while South Sudan managed to wrench out its freedom, and is now slowly rebuilding. Sudan is a country with no place for religious or ethnic minority groups. 
Sudan isn't a safe place for journalists like Murad Muodia either. They will be arrested and tortured; for example, Lubna Hussein a Sudanese journalist who was condemned to flogging officially for wearing trousers.Moreover, we learnt that seven Sudanese, who were in prison because they committed a planning to murder an American diplomat in 2009, had been released and joined Islamist terrorists in Mali.For the last 24 years Islamists have controlled the national TV and radio. Most of the media institutions are run by the government and there is pre-publication censorship by the security and the military intelligence. Sudan ranks 170 out of 179 states in terms of freedom of expression. “Rogue states” are defined by severe violation of human rights and authoritarian regimes sponsoring terrorism. Sudan, with the Khartoum government supporting terrorists groups like Al Quaeda and violating human rights as in the Darfur conflict, is clearly one of them.

Today, the country is headed by Omar Al Bashir, a dictator who introduced islamists laws like the Sharia.
Murad Muodia claimed that an alliance involving North African countries, Iran, Egypt, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia supports the Sudanese  government.

The journalist, the activist

            Murad Muodia was born in the Nuba Mountains, in the center of Sudan. He studied politics, diplomacy and journalism at the American University in Khartoum.  In 1999, he started working for the Sudan Mirror and Radio Nile as a journalist and an activist. He rapidly made a name for himself with his work that criticized the Sudanese government. But in spite of all the risks, Mr.Muodia decided to devote himself to his country and is determined to fight on for peace and freedom in Sudan.            Everything he writes or says is now censored by the government and he was declared persona non grata. Murad Muodia was even captured and tortured by the government but he managed to escape and is now a political refugee in France since 2011. He has been wanted dead or alive for many years now.Yet, he continued to fight for freedom and had to tour his country to spread his message.            Murad Muodia is currently hosted by the “Maison des Journalistes” and still works as a journalist and an activist.            During his intervention, he showed great patriotism and even with all that the Sudanese government has done to him he still wants to return to Sudan when all the problems are resolved and when his life is not threatened any more. Murad Muodia is a great example of resilience and patriotism in his struggle for freedom and peace and is obviously an important character of the Sudanese opposition. 

High expectations

The Sudanese are expecting France will play a great role to change the situation in Sudan.The Sudanese initially had a poor idea of France, notably because of the meeting between Sarkozy and Sudan’s President Al Bashir who is wanted by the ICC (International Criminal Court). Moreover, Mr Muodia feels forgotten because the media are not covering the main conflict as he thinks it should be.
However, the intervention in Mali makes them more confident about France and gives them hope again, even if it is just a part of the issue and of the problem with Jihadists, according to him. He longs for a global plan to defeat them.
He mentioned the fact that France has already played an important role for the freedom of journalists and the press, for example when the government reacted after the incident involving journalist Lubna Husseini in 2010.

The journalist and activist hopes that powers like the USA will unite against islamists particularly against the Khartoum government to instore a secular democracy.

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