Sudan's Bad Laws, Internet Censorship and Repressed Civil Liberties

This brief explores the repressive elements of media and technology-related laws in Sudan and how they have been used to undermine freedom of expression and other civil liberties in the aftermath of President Omar al-Bashir’s April 2019 overthrow. Further, the brief explores the phenomenon of network disruptions (commonly referred to as internet shutdowns), which has been prevalent in Sudan over the past three years. These repressions continue to flourish despite guarantees in the country’s constitution of 2019 of the right to privacy (article 55), freedom of expression (article 57), and freedom of assembly (article 58). Article 57(1) provides that every citizen has an unrestricted right to freedom of expression, receiving and publishing information and publications, and accessing the press without prejudice to order, safety and public morals as specified by law. Article 57(2) states that every citizen has “the right to access the internet without prejudice to order, safety and public morals as specified by law.” Under article 57(3), the state guarantees freedom of the press and other media in accordance with what is regulated by law in a pluralistic democratic society. Furthermore, Sudan has ratified key international human rights instruments including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), which guarantee the right to freedom of assembly, freedom of expression, and the right to receive, impart and disseminate information.