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Sudan’s NISS bans journalist, confiscates newspapers

June 15 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Journalist Ahmed Younis (file photo)
Journalist Ahmed Younis (file photo)

The Sudanese security apparatus withdrew the press license of journalist Ahmed Younis on Thursday. The same day all copies of El Youm El Tali were seized from the printing presses.

Journalist Ahmed Younis, a correspondent for El Sharq El Awsat newspaper, told Radio Dabanga that he received a summon from the External Information Secretariat on Thursday morning.

“When I went there, officials withdrew my card and notified me of my suspension from practicing the profession of journalist – on the instructions of the security apparatus. They said I had written a report on corruption in the railway sector.”

Younis said he was surprised by the reason. “I have not written anything about the railway since joining the newspaper.”

The withdrawal of Younis’ license is “a flagrant violation of freedom of the press and my constitutional rights to work and practice journalism”. The correspondent is in the process of taking constitutional action against the move of the Sudanese security apparatus (NISS), he said.

“The security apparatus has summoned me twice this month and held me for hours at its headquarters in Khartoum.” Younis has written reports in El Sharq El Awsat newspaper about the differences within the ruling party, as well as the suspension of El Jareeda newspaper, that have triggered the NISS into taking action.

Younis said he had been subjected to harsh treatment by the security personnel during the summons and had received earlier threats of his suspension.

Shamael El Nur (file photo)

Writer detained

On Tuesday, writer and journalist Shamael El Nur was also detained by the NISS. Security officials told her not to harm President Omar Al Bashir in her writings, both negatively and positively.

She confirmed to Sudanese media that the security service has “intentionally summoned” her for two consecutive days, during which she had to stay in a room without ventilation for more than three hours.

Also on Thursday, the NISS confiscated all the copies of El Youm El Tali which had just rolled out of the printing presses in Khartoum. Earlier this week the security service also confiscated all copies of El Tayyar daily newspaper, on two consecutive days.

File joint lawsuit’

The Sudanese Journalists Network for Human Rights (JAHR) condemned the suspension of Ahmed Younis from practicing journalism and withdrawing his press card. General coordinator Faisal El Bagir said in a press statement that the behaviour of the NISS by stopping journalists is “a clear violation of international covenants”.

El Bagir added that the confiscation of newspapers “has become a familiar behaviour of the security apparatus”.

Therefore El Bagir called on all journalists who have been subjected to violations similar to Younis’, to file a joint lawsuit against the NISS with the help of lawyers and human rights defenders. “JAHR is ready to provide technical support for regional litigation in the event of exhaustion in the stages of internal litigation.”

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