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Censor confiscates ten books at Sudanese Writers Union fair

February 13 - 2017 KHARTOUM
A stand at the International Book Fair in Khartoum, October 2016 (
A stand at the International Book Fair in Khartoum, October 2016 (

The Sudanese Writers Union has strongly condemned the confiscation of a number of books from the book fair held at its premises in El Amarat district in Khartoum.

Osman Shenger, Secretary-General of the Union told Radio Dabanga that censors confiscated ten studies and literary books on Saturday.

“The action reveals the ignorance and lack of any knowledge among the censorship officers concerning the contents of the books displayed at the fair,“ he said. “One of them wanted to prohibit the sale of Democracy Weighted, written by Mohamed Ahmed Mahjoub years ago, and re-published by the Ministry of Culture in 2005.”

He said that the novel Christ Re-crucified by Nikos Kazantzakis was confiscated, Bird of Doom by the South Sudanese researcher and writer Francis Deng, The Messiah of Darfur by the Sudanese novelist Baraka Sakin, and works by Paulo Coelho and Sudanese writer Emad Abakar.

“All these works are available in Sudanese bookshops,” Shenger commented. “Unfortunately, We cannot do more than reporting the confiscation to the press.”

He emphasised that the Writers Union will continue its activities “despite the challenges”. He ruled out that the security apparatus will close the Union again soon, because of the political transformation as a result of the National Dialogue.

The opposition parties that participated in the National Dialogue organised by Sudan's ruling party have repeatedly demanded the restoration of public freedoms, before a new Government of National Unity will be established. Khartoum will soon announce the formation of the new government.

The book fair is part of the celebrations of the Sudanese Writers Union after it was allowed to resume its activities again in December last year.

In January 2015, the Sudanese Ministry of Culture revoked the license of the Union, reportedly in a series of steps by the authorities to close cultural centres in the country. In early December, an administrative Court of Appeal in Khartoum annulled the Ministry’s decision and ordered the security apparatus to return the Union’s property.  


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