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Outcry as Sudan newspaper confiscated

October 16 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Newspaper vendors in Sudan (File photo)
Newspaper vendors in Sudan (File photo)

The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated the print run of Al Jarida newspaper on Saturday, apparently after the paper carries a critical opinion piece in its previous edition.

The Arab Network for Crisis Information has issued a statement condemning the confiscation of Al Jarida by the Sudanese authorities citing it as an attempt to drain the resources of the newspapers and force them into bankruptcy.

In its statement the Network rejects this behaviour by the Sudanese authorities represented by the National Security and Intelligence Service. It calls on the Sudanese authorities to respect the right to free opinion, and that the press should only be prosecuted “if a party is harmed by the press”.

The Network suggests that the confiscation is “an attempt to impose self-censorship by the newspaper itself, which puts it in front of challenges that are difficult to overcome, by reducing the space of opinion or dispense with a book whose articles can cause the newspaper to be punished administratively, This makes it a precondition for publication to avoid some of the issues that can cause administrative sanctions. Its interests are confined to issues of integrity, which weaken its professional position and lose its credibility to the reader. In contrast, it has been issued as an edited version of the security and intelligence apparatus.

‘Repression’

The statement accuses the authorities of repression and confiscation, and “to muzzle journalists, which failed in front of the defenders of the profession and press freedoms. The security authorities have constantly targeted Al Jarida newspaper and imposed restrictions on it. This represents a violation of the freedom of opinion, expression and press publication and violates the Sudanese constitution for the year 2005 and international conventions.”

Sudan consistently rates near to last on international press freedom indeces. Restraints on jounalists and newspaper confiscations are commonplace.


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