Journalist flees Sudan 'fearing for his life'

Published July 18, 2013

| AFP

A reporter for the international news service Bloomberg has fled Sudan afraid for his safety after being threatened, assaulted and arbitrarily detained, a watchdog says.

"Michael Gunn told CPJ that he fled the country on July 2 fearing for his life," said a statement from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

The incident comes about a year after Sudan deported Bloomberg correspondent Salma El Wardany, an Egyptian. She was detained while trying to cover anti-government protests.

Gunn, 35, a British national, declined comment when reached by AFP on Thursday.

He told CPJ that plainclothes agents grabbed him while he covered a June 29 meeting of the opposition Umma Party.

"He said he was hit several times, his bag and pockets searched, and his shirt pulled over his head before he was thrown into the back of a truck with several Sudanese citizens," CPJ said in a statement late Wednesday.

Gunn reported to CPJ that he was taken away, blindfolded and interrogated for three hours about what he was doing in Sudan.

Neither Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman nor Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Abubakr Al-Siddiq were immediately able to comment when reached by AFP on Thursday.

Sudan ranks near the bottom, at 170 out of 179, in the 2013 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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