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Sudan daily confiscated again; journalist's trial postponed

July 5 - 2016 KHARTOUM / EL GENEINA
Sudanese newspapers (file photo)
Sudanese newspapers (file photo)

Thousands of copies of El Jareeda daily newspaper were confiscated last Sunday. A journalist accused of inciting riots in El Geneina has been notified of the postponement of his trial.

The Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) seized 12,000 copies from the printing presses. Editor-in-chief Ashraf Abdelaziz said that the confiscation “has left no opportunity for an appeal”.

“It is the fourth confiscation of its kind in a month's time.” El Jareeda did not run on 1 July after the National Council for Press and Publications issued a letter suspending the independent newspapers.

Bread riot

Journalist Alaludin Babiker's trial at the court in the West Darfur capital has been postponed. Babiker, working for El Raiulam newspaper, is charged with inciting demonstrations, destruction of public institutions, riots, and causing nuisance to the Sudanese authorities.

'They threatened to shoot me if I continue to write about state issues.'

The journalist covered the demonstrations against the bread shortage in El Geneina in December last year. He told Radio Dabanga that he was notified about the trial's postponement to 20 July over the telephone while in Khartoum.

He was released on bail for SDG30,000 ($4,900). “Now, I am being subjected to abusive prosecution by high officials in the state.”

Babiker expressed his sadness for the trial. “Meanwhile none of the defendants of the Azerni or Mouli incidents, in which dozens of people were killed, have been tried.

“The security service in El Geneina interrogated me twice. They threatened to shoot me if I continue to write about the current issues in the state.”

The Sudanese Journalists Network responded in a statement last month that the Sudanese press is experiencing the most challenging time in its history under the current regime. It said that the Sudanese regime has used “all kinds of weapons and tactics to subdue the press”, including confiscation of newspapers and exploiting some of the laws to persecute and intimidate journalists via the parliamentary and judicial measures, in order to “humiliate them”.


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