Editor-in-chief beaten by Sudan security service

The editor-in-chief of the newspaper Akhbar El Watan was beaten during her arrest by the Sudanese security service in Khartoum on Tuesday evening.

The editor-in-chief of the newspaper Akhbar El Watan was beaten during her arrest by the Sudanese security service in Khartoum on Tuesday evening. 

The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) released Hanadi El Siddig after three hours of detention that evening, during which she was subjected to “beating and verbal abuse”. “The personnel was forced to use violence against me by the operations police,” El Siddig told Radio Dabanga yesterday.

NISS members on motorcycles intercepted her and her car on Tuesday evening, on her way back from El Falah club in El Jareif West.

“I went to the club as a journalist and a member of the committee for the development of El Jareif West,” El Siddig explained. She wanted to determine the repercussions of the demonstrations that broke out in El Jareif West, after a death sentence was issued against four people on charges of killing the former director of a cotton company three years ago.

I was beaten, slapped, and thrown on the ground

She pointed out that the security personnel was forced to use violence by the operations police. “I refused to comply with their orders because there was no arrest warrant. After that I was beaten, slapped and thrown on the ground by members of the operations police, before they handed me over to members of the security service.”

In addition El Siddig's vehicle and mobile phone were damaged. “I had to contact my relatives who took me home at 10pm.”

The editor-in-chief has taken legal action against the members of the operations police and the NISS, and filed a complaint to the departments of the operations police and the NISS on the violations she suffered by their employees.

El Siddig was summoned and questioned twice by the NISS on July 13 and 14, for writing a column in El Jareeda. She said that during both detentions, she was subjected to extensive intimidation about her views.

The continued summoning may be an attempt to intimidate El Siddig as she has been appointed editor-in-chief of the new Akhbar El Watan newspaper, which has recently obtained a license from the Press and Publications Council.  

'Targeting press'

The Sudanese network Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) denounced that journalist Hanadi El Siddig was arrested and subjected to physical and verbal violence by police security personnel.

Network coordinator and journalist Faisal El Bagir told Radio Dabanga that he considers the “as targeting the press and journalists through security bullying and flawed litigation”. He pointed to the “repeated confiscations of newspapers after printing”.

The most recent confiscation of newspaper copies was El Tayar newspaper, which was targeted by the NISS twice last week. The security apparatus did not provide any reasons for the confiscation. A journalist from El Tayar said in Sudanese media that an officer from the NISS arrived at the printing press early Tuesday morning to order the confiscation of copies, before distribution to the capital city and state capitals.