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Six Sudanese newspapers silenced on Sunday

January 8 - 2018 KHARTOUM
El Midan newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Sudan (RD)
El Midan newspaper, the mouthpiece of the Communist Party of Sudan (RD)

On Sunday morning, officers of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) halted the distribution of six newspapers from the printing presses in Khartoum.

The actions took place a few hours after the NISS issued directives to the press not to cover demonstrations against the current price hikes, Hanadi El Siddig, Editor-in-chief of Akhbar El Watan, told Radio Dabanga.

El Siddig said that a NISS officer arrived at the printing company, took a number of copies of the newspaper and left. “Not much later, he contacted the manager of the printing house and ordered him not to hand the copies to the distributor. As usual, no reason was provided.”

Although she said she is certain that the gagging of the press this time is caused by fear for mass protest against the huge inflation, the newspaper will address the security apparatus “to find out the reasons for halting the distribution, and then take the necessary legal measures”.

“Even if they close all newspapers, it does not mean that the situation is fine. The real test for the government is to face the crisis and courageously try to find solutions.”

In addition to Akhbar El Watan, the mouthpiece of the Sudanese Congress Party, NISS officers prevented the distribution of El Midan, issued by the Communist Party of Sudan, El Sayha, El Mustagilla, El Garar, and El Tayyar were silenced on Sunday.

Journalist Khalid Fathi of El Tayyar daily independent newspaper told this station that “It has become usual for the authorities to take these arbitrary measures against the media, especially the newspapers, whenever they face a crisis”.

“They attempt to force the press to shift from providing the bare facts to becoming a government bulletin that daily trumpets the regime.

“Of course these measures are useless,” he said. “Even if they close all newspapers, it does not mean that the situation is fine. The real test for the government is to face the crisis and courageously try to find solutions.”


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