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‘Ceasefire’ in Sudan NISS ‘war on press’

December 7 - 2017 KHARTOUM
File photo
File photo

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Sudan has announced an end to its eight-day campaign of newspaper confiscations which has caused extensive financial losses to the Khartoum newspaper industry.

On Tuesday the NISS notified the editors of El Taghyeer, El Jareeda, El Watan, and Akhir Lahza, which have been repeatedly seized from the presses without explanation over the last eight days, may once again be published.

The seizures have been described as ‘a massacre of the press’ resulting in huge financial losses. The Sudanese Journalists’ Network called a one-day strike on Tuesday. 70 per cent of journalists responded to the call to ‘down pens’.

The editor-in-chief of El Jareeda newspaper, Ashraf Abdelaziz, told El Arabi El Jadeed that he and his counterparts on the other three newspapers were informed of the decision to allow them to publish the newspaper unconditionally.

He said “the decision is welcome as an important step for freedom of expression and publication, however, as the National Security Act continues to be in effect, it overshadows the Press Act and allows the security apparatus to confiscate newspapers”.

Sudanese Journalists’ Network

Mohammed El Amin Abdelaziz of the leadership of the Sudanese Journalists’ Network praised the success of the strike carried out by journalists on Tuesday.

He pointed out that the strike has played a major role in ending the repeated confiscations carried out by the security apparatus against the four newspapers for more than a week.

He highly valued the great solidarity from political parties and forces.

He said the network will continue its fight against security confiscations and flawed amendments to the Press Act.

British Ambassador

On Tuesday, the British Ambassador to Sudan, Michael Aaron, held a meeting with the editors of the four confiscated newspapers along with a representative of the Sudanese Journalists’ Network.

The ambassador promised to discuss the issue with the EU and US ambassadors and pay a visit to the headquarters of the affected newspapers.

The editors and the representative of the network briefed the ambassador on the press conditions in the country, the roles of the Sudanese Journalists’ Union and the pro-government National Council for Press and Publications.

They also briefed him on the circumstances of the proposed amendments to the Press Act 2009.

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