Sudan – Whistleblowing Protection, Overview

1. Background

Sudan ranked 174 out of 177 countries on the 2013 Transparency International Perceptions Index, making it the 3rd most corrupt country on the index1.

Following the July 2011 secession of South Sudan, and the resulting uncertain security situation, Sudan’s already troubled economic climate has descended into an economic crisis2. No specific whistleblower legislation exists in the Sudan and although the constitution recognises freedom of expression, there are very few practical measures that safeguard this right. This appears unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

2. Present legal environment

Protections for media and speech freedoms exist under Article 39 of the interim national constitution of Sudan. Specifically Article 39 stipulates:

  1. Every citizen shall have an unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals as determined by law.
  2. The State shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society.
  3. All media shall abide by professional ethics, shall refrain from inciting religious, ethnic, racial or cultural hatred and shall not agitate for violence or war3.

No direct legislative protections exist for whistleblowers in Sudan.

3. Additional legislative gaps

The media in Sudan is regulated by The Press and Printed Materials Act 2009, which necessitates the licensing and registration all Sudanese printed media. The Press Council administers the registration with supervision by the President. Both lack independence from government in fulfilling this role.

While the Act theoretically reinforces the positive objectives set out in the constitution by outlining principles to guide freedom of expression, these protections appear to be ineffectual.

4. Case examples of Whistleblowing

No publicly known cases of whistleblowing exist in the Sudan.

5. Political, economic and social environment

The political climate in Sudan has suffered significant uncertainty in recent times. Since South Sudan’s secession, national politics has been dominated by sovereignty and energy issues, particularly where border regions are concerned.

As mentioned previously, Sudan has pressing economic concerns. Approximately 75% of what were Sudan’s oil reserves are located in South Sudan, and as a result, the revenue was lost at the time of secession.

Last modified: 24 May 2014


1 http://www.transparency.org/country#SDN

2 http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2013/sudan#.UyqT9l7-8Xw

3 http://unmis.unmissions.org/Portals/UNMIS/CPA%20Monitor/Annexes/Annex%201-%20Interim%20National%20Constitution%20of%20Sudan%20-%20FIXED.pdf