The National Press and Publication Council issued a decision this week to suspend El Jareeda newspaper for two days, namely today and Friday for publishing a critical column by El Fateh Jabra entitled Harassment Test in which he wrote about a Sudanese diplomat accused of sexually assaulting a young woman at a night club in New York.
Ashraf Abdelaziz, editor of El Jareeda newspaper, told Radio Dabanga that the newspaper has been punished for the second time because of the column.
He pointed out that the security apparatus earlier confiscated the newspaper from the press for the same reason.
Journalist Feisal El Bagir, Coordinator-general of Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), sharply criticised the government’s approach to impose multiple penalties on newspapers for a particular issue.
He considered this as an indication that all state institutions, such as the security apparatus, the security council and the courts are racing for implementation of repressive measures.
El Bagir also sharply criticised the Press and Publications Council and pointed out that it has given up its real role in promoting and developing the press into a punishment and levies’ council.
He said that the government is trying to get electronic journalism into its repressive circle, referring to the debate on the new amendments in the Press and Publications Act.
He denounced the malicious reports against the journalists working abroad and banning them from traveling to their workplaces.
He considered this as a clear monitoring of journalists’ freedom and an attempt to silence their voices.
He praised the efforts of the journalists working inside the country and called on them to expand the scope of solidarity work and resort to the judiciary in the face of the government violations.