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Sudan troops fire tear gas, live ammunition at protesters on third anniversary of sit-in killings

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Sudanese protesters who took to the streets of Khartoum on Saturday to rally against military rule and mark the third anniversary of the sit-in killing of scores of protesters in 2019, were repelled by security forces who fired tear gas and live ammunition at the crowd.

The protesters had blocked a major road junction in the capital and laid out food to break their Ramadan fast but just before the ifthar where they were to break their fast, officers began breaking up the rally and chased demonstrators into side streets, a local journalist said.

Later postings on social media said people also gathered in the cities of Madani, Kosti and El Obeid, carrying posters with faces of some of the young men killed in the 2019 protests.

Protests and unrest have continued to rock Sudan since months of nationwide demonstrations led to the overthrow of former dictator, Omar al-Bashir, in April 2019.

The Saturday rally was to mark the June 3, 2019 pro-democracy demonstrations where armed security forces charged at the demonstrators who were holding a sit-in outside the military headquarters in the centre of the capital, demanding the army hand over rule to civilians after Bashir’s ousting.

At the end of the confrontation, more than 130 people were reportedly killed, while government officials have continued to maintain that only 87 people were killed in the raid.

The country’s military leaders have also denied responsibility for the 2019 killings but since the October, 2021 coup which ousted Bashir, many of his former allies have been allowed to rejoin the civil service while others have been freed from jail, something Sudanese activists say is an “insult to the memories of the 2019 martyrs.”

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Metro

Sign language interpreter, Kunda, seeks inclusivity in media rights agenda (video)

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An inclusive society is crucial for a nation’s human and economic development in the modern era.

In this edition of Project Aliyense, we feature Paul Kunda, widely recognized as the face of sign language interpretation on national television, serving the deaf community.

Kunda, a dedicated sign language interpreter and educator with over four years of experience, sheds light on the significance of media freedom.

“As a sign language interpreter at Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) and a teacher by profession, I advocate for media freedom,” he said.

Kunda emphasised the importance of the Access to Information (ATI) Act, recently assented to by President Hakainde Hichilema, which empowered citizens to demand information freely.

He stressed the need for unhindered access to information to foster a civil and prosperous society.

Regarding digital rights, Kunda highlighted their critical role for the deaf community, given the transformative impact of digital platforms, especially when mainstream media access is limited.

“As a representative of the deaf community, I believe digital rights should be inclusive. Everyone, including persons with disabilities, should enjoy these rights through various devices to express themselves and participate in national discourse,” he asserted.

He also called for the recognition of sign language as the eighth national language, aligning with United Nations conventions that mandate sign language interpreters at all events to promote inclusivity.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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Educationist challenges media freedom norms, cautions against misuse of freedom of expression

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Geshom Banda, Deputy Head Teacher at Hillside Primary School, presents a contrasting perspective amidst discussions on media freedom and digital rights.

Banda contested the prevalent notion suggesting limitations on expressing opinions regarding government affairs through media channels.

In an interview with Zambia Monitor in Chipata, Eastern Province, Banda emphasized Zambia’s democratic foundation, affirming that citizens possessed the liberty to voice their views on governmental matters via the media.

“Television broadcasts frequently feature discussions on political issues and government affairs, reflecting the freedom of expression prevailing in our nation,” he observed.

Furthermore, Banda highlighted the accessibility of media platforms for marginalized groups, including the disadvantaged and persons with disabilities, enabling them to articulate their voices effectively.

“Thanks to the readily available facilities, marginalized communities now have avenues to express themselves through various media channels,” he said.

Nevertheless, Banda cautioned against the misuse of freedom of expression and digital rights, particularly concerning the dissemination of inaccurate information, which could adversely affect consumers’ perceptions of cyberspace.

“The challenge lies in misinformation. Inaccurate information circulated through the media can distort the public’s understanding,” he cautioned.

Acknowledging the necessity of regulatory measures, Banda referenced the Cybersecurity Act, aimed at curbing the malicious distortion of media content, despite persistent efforts by some individuals to spread misinformation.

“Granting unrestricted freedom in media poses risks of information distortion. Hence, regulatory measures like the Cybersecurity Act are crucial in safeguarding digital rights and preventing abuse,” he emphasized.

This story is sponsored content from Zambia Monitor’s Project Aliyense.

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