New Internationalist

Golden pen

Issue 381

The veteran Sudanese journalist and editor Mahjoub Mohamed Sahil has been awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom award by World Editors Forum. The award was presented in Seoul, South Korea. Sahil, now 76, set up Sudan’s first independent newspaper Al-Ayam back in 1958. It was closed twice by the military government in the 1960s, nationalized in 1970 and returned to its owners in 1986, before being closed again by the Government in 1989. Since reopening in 2000 the newspaper and its staff have been subjected to imprisonment, fines, confiscation and closure. Sahil has been jailed numerous times for his journalistic activities.

‘During my half-century of working in this profession,’ he says, ‘I have experienced all types of constraints and harassments… Nothing kept us going except commitment to the profession and dedicated loyalty to its ideas.’

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