Mahjoub Mohamed Salih

Mahjoub Mohamed Salih (born 12 April 1928)[1] is a journalist from Sudan.[2] He was awarded the 2005 Golden Pen of Freedom.


Salih became a journalist in 1949 after joining the Sudanese independence movement from Egypt.[3] He founded the oldest independent newspaper in Sudan, Al Ayam, in 1958.[2] Twice closed by the Sudanese government during the 1960s, it became a product of it in 1970.[2] Salih did not publish it again until 1986.[2] This was not the end of his troubles with the law, as it was again closed from 1989 to 2000.[2]

Salih in his office at Al Ayyam newspaper in Khartoum, 2015

In 2003, he began covering the War in Darfur.[3] For this, his newspaper were stopped, punished,[3] and from November 2003 to January 2004, closed down.[2] However, Sudanese authorities claimed it was due to Al-Ayem's failure to pay their taxes.[4] In any case, its journalists have been fined, and sensitive or controversial issues have been confiscated by Sudanese authorities.[2] Salih personally has been incarcerated "numerous" times for publishing such issues.[2]

He received Golden Pen of Freedom in 2005, during the opening ceremonies of the 58th World Newspaper Congress and the 12th World Editors Forum, the global meetings of the Earth's press.[2] It has been awarded annually since 1961 for the stated purpose of "recognis[ing] outstanding action by an individual, a group or an institution in the cause of press freedom."[2] In attendance of the ceremony were the President of South Korea, Roh Moo-Hyun, several representatives from the diplomatic community, and over 1,300 journalists, publishers, and editors of newspapers in 82 countries.[2]

In July 2005, Sudanese authorities suspended their censorship of the press.[5] A new law was put into place requiring that they have to take the journalist to court, instead of immediately punishing them.[5] Salih became the application of that law, after Al-Ayam published an article seen as demeaning to the armed forces.[5]

In 2015 Salih identified the pressure against journalist in Sudan as having intensified from times past.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Mahjoub Mohamed Salih". World Association of Newspapers. 2005. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  3. ^ a b c "Interview with WAN 2005 Golden Pen of Freedom Winner, Mahjoub Mohamed Salih of Sudan". World Association of Newspapers. Rap21. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  4. ^ "Editor-in-chief of daily "Al-Ayam" imprisoned". Reporters Without Borders. IFEX. 2004-01-15. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  5. ^ a b c Osman, Mohamed (2005-07-15). "Sudanese army takes newspaper to court for "demeaning" article". Sudan Tribune. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
  6. ^ article on Salih