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Sudan security closes civil society centre in Khartoum

September 12 - 2014 KHARTOUM

A force of security agents raided the Centre for Civil Society Development in the Sudanese capital on Wednesday.

“A large force of National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) officers stormed the Centre for Civil Society Development in Khartoum's El Amarat district on Wednesday,” a member of the Centre told Radio Dabanga.

“They confiscated all the property, including laptops and documents, and told us that the Centre was definitely closed.”

In June this year, the Ministry of Justice revoked the registration license of Salmmah Women’s Resource Centre in Khartoum.

The Sudanese Studies Centre, legally registered as a civil society organisation working to promote dialogue on culture and democracy, was closed by the Ministry of Culture and Media on 24 December 2012. On 31 December, the Humanitarian Affairs Commission (HAC) shut the Nuba Mountains-based ARRY Organisation for Human Rights and Development, and Khartoum’s leading pro-democracy think-tank, El  Khatim Adlan Centre for Enlightenment and Human Development (KACE).

On the same day, the NISS officers summoned Sudanese writer Zeinab Beleil for interrogation. Beleil is chairwoman of the Cultural Forum for Literary Criticism. She was interrogated about the relationship of the Forum to the Iranian Cultural Chancellery in Khartoum, which funds an annually literary prize. The Forum was ordered to cease its activities, and return the grant received from the Iranian embassy.

In March 2013, the Sudanese authorities closed the Aslan English language teaching centre in Khartoum.

File photo: KACE before it was closed on 31 December 2012 (John Akec)

Related: Arab Coalition for Sudan condemns closure of women's centre (1 July 2014)


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