Sudan Halts Operations of Al Arabiya, Al Hadath, and Sky News Arabia

On Tuesday, Sudan announced the suspension of operations for the Saudi state-owned broadcasters Al Arabiya and Al Hadath, as well as the UAE-owned Sky News Arabia channel. According to the Sudanese state news agency (SUNA), the suspension was due to these channels’ failure to adhere to required levels of professionalism and transparency, in addition to not renewing their licenses.

The Sudanese Journalists Syndicate criticized the information ministry’s action, arguing it infringed on press freedom and freedom of expression. The syndicate warned that shutting down satellite channels and limiting media professionals’ activities could lead to the suppression of professional journalism and pave the way for rumors and hate speech to flourish. This condemnation was part of a statement released on Tuesday.

Furthermore, the syndicate highlighted that the move represents an ongoing effort to intimidate journalists, who have been facing difficult working conditions since the onset of conflict in Sudan last April.

Al Hadath, responding via a post on X, indicated they had not received formal notification about the suspension of their operations and Al Arabiya in Sudan. The channel expressed surprise over the decision in another X post.

The conflict in Sudan, nearing its one-year mark, began due to disagreements over the distribution of power between the army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), amid an international effort to transition the country towards civilian governance and democratic elections.