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Journalist questioned by Sudan’s oil minister

December 2 - 2014 KHARTOUM

On Sunday, a journalist of the Khartoum-based El Ahram El Youm daily newspaper was questioned by the Minister of Oil about an article he wrote about the lifting of subsidy on cooking gas.

Security officers took Murtada Ahmed from his office at the newspaper to the office of Oil Minister Mekkawi Mohamed Awad in the early afternoon. There, the Minister questioned him about a report he had published regarding an alleged ministry’s decision to lift the subsidies on cooking gas, and ordered him to retract the article.

The Sudanese Journalists Association for Human Rights (JAHR) reported on Monday that after the minister’s questioning , Ahmed was held for three hours at the security service office inside the ministry, and threatened by security agents before being released at about 5 pm.

JAHR denounced the presence of offices and units of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) within the Sudanese ministries and other government institutions, as well as the ongoing violations of the freedom of speech and press freedom.

Last Tuesday, five journalists from El Jareeda newspaper were interrogated at press prosecution offices in Khartoum and El Gezira states, on charges of defamation. JAHR lauded the decision of Chief Justice Wahid Ahmed Dafallah to abolish the prosecution office in El Gezira, and transfer all pending cases to Khartoum state for adjudication.

File photo: A man reads a copy of El Ahram El Youm at a newspaper kiosk in Khartoum

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