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Sudan papers seized ‘after Turkey comments’

July 28 - 2016 KHARTOUM

Agents of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) sized the print runs of El Sayha and El Taghyeer newspapers in Khartoum on Wednesday morning. No reasons were given for the seizure, but journalists suspected that it is a reaction to opinion articles on Turkey’s failed coup.

Journalists from El Tagyeer newspaper owned by Khartoum Minister of Health Mammon Humeida reported that “as usual the newspaper has been confiscated for the second time this week”.

They confirmed that an article by Haydar El Makashfi draws comparisons between Turkey’s failed coup, and the 1989 coup that brought Omar Al-Bashir to power in Sudan.

Journalist Faisal El Bagir, the general coordinator of the Network of Journalists for Human Rights condemned the confiscation of the newspapers. He told Radio Dabanga that the security apparatus exercises abuses against journalists and expresses pride on punishing newspapers, without any resort to law.

The Sudanese journalists’ network said that journalist Hassan Farouq, the presenter of Hala 96 FM radio programme, was summoned by the NISS on Tuesday.

The network confirmed that Farouq was summoned because he commented the Sudanese Football Association elections in which he pointed out “government interference in Union elections”.

Farouq was questioned from 9 am to 4 pm.

Challenging time

The Sudanese Journalists Network said 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”.

Sudan is listed near the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index.

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