Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated Wednesday’s print-run of the economic newspaper Elaph. The draft of the new press law contains “catastrophic features”.
Khalid Tijani El Nur, editor-in-chief of Elaph, told the press that the NISS had demanded from the printing press to confiscate the copies on Wednesday.
The confiscation comes at the time during which President Omer Al Bashir is reiterating his calls for dialogue and reconciliation with the political opposition forces. On 20 February the print-runs of newspapers El Ahram, El Watan, and Akhir Lahza were confiscated without any justification. More than ten journalists and writers are prohibited to write or work for Sudanese newspapers. The weekly newspaper of the Sudanese Communist Party, El Midan, was suspended a year ago for an indefinite period. The dailies Ajras El Hurriya, El Tayar, and five English newspapers are also still banned by the NISS.
Draft press law
The Sudanese Organisation for the Defence of Rights and Freedoms has warned for the passing of anew Press and Publications Act without the input of journalists, publishers, or other stakeholders.
The Organisation’s chairman, Faroug Mohamed Ibrahim, told Radio Dabanga that the proposed new law text is worse than the current law. “The draft text of the new press law contains some catastrophic features, including many penalties. If this draft text will be passed, the new press law will curtail the journalists even more.”
He stressed the need to involve “all journalists in the process of developing the new law text. The new Press and Publications Act should meet the international standards and conventions and freedom of expression, human rights.”
File photo: A woman reads a newspaper at a kiosk in Khartoum (dc4mf)
Sudanese Security gags newspaper (28 January 2014)
Sudanese security confiscates newspaper, halts distribution of another (2 December 2013)