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Sudan's El Jareeda gagged for seventh time in two weeks

December 11 - 2016 KHARTOUM
Headers of the copies of El Tayyar, El Jareeda, and El Watan newspapers confiscated on 6 Nov. 2016 (Sudanese Journalists Network)
Headers of the copies of El Tayyar, El Jareeda, and El Watan newspapers confiscated on 6 Nov. 2016 (Sudanese Journalists Network)

On Saturday morning, agents of Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated the print-run of El Jareeda newspaper for the seventh time in two weeks.

After the seizure of all Al Jareeda copies on Friday morning, editor-in-chief Ashraf Abdelaziz told Radio Dabanga that the security officers again did not inform him about the reason for the confiscations.

He also did not receive “any report from the governmental National Press Council and Journalists’ Union regarding the NISS actions against the newspaper”.

Abdelaziz reported huge financial losses as a result of the confiscations. “The newspaper’s management however has responded to the repeated seizures with steadfastness. It has conducted its own balance transfers to compensate for the losses.”

Concern

During the past two weeks, NISS agents seized 20 print-runs of Sudanese newspapers, in an attempt to prohibit the press from commenting on the austerity measures taken by the government in November or reporting on the civil disobedience action in Khartoum on 27-29 November in protest against the recent price hikes.

The members of the Sudan Troika (Norway, the UK, and the USA), the EU, and Canada, issued a joint statement on Wednesday in which they expressed concern at the current spate of detentions and press curbs in Sudan.

The countries are “concerned about the detention, apparently without charge, of a number of political leaders either in anticipation of protests or having protested government economic moves.

“We are also aware of Sudanese authorities seizing newspapers and engaging in other forms of censorship, allegedly for reporting on expression of political views.

“The arrest of political leaders for non-violent dissent risks hindering efforts for an inclusive National Dialogue that involves all the relevant political forces in Sudan in line with the African Union Roadmap, which we all support,” the statement read.


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