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Sudan security continues its press curbs

April 19 - 2015 KHARTOUM

The Sudanese Journalists Association for Human Rights (JAHR) has denounced the continued curbing of the press freedom by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS).

On Saturday, the print-run of the daily newspaper El Youm El Tali was confiscated. Three days before, all copies of El Mijhar El Siyasi were seized from the printing press.

Journalist and general coordinator of JAHR, Faisal El Bagir, strongly condemned the renewed crackdown of the press, detentions, and the far going restrictions on the freedom of opinion and expression in the country.

He told Radio Dabanga that the security apparatus in Khartoum also summoned Masha’ir Daraj, working as a journalist for Alwan newspaper, and on Thursday Ashraf Abdelaziz, editor at El Jazeera for questioning.

El Bagir confirmed the strict monitoring of the press by NISS officers during the general election last week, preventing them from freely covering the voting process. He said that the journalists had expected that during the election, “the margin of freedom left to the media would be broadened”.  

“Yet,” he said, “the repression only seemed to increase. The freedoms of expression, publication, association, and other fundamental rights were even curbed more.

He pointed to the directives sent by the NISS to the editors-in-chief before the start of the election. “We were warned not to publish any negative headline or any critical view or image about the election, and instructed to focus on the positive news only.

“This policy not only exposes the suppression of the press by the NISS and other powers in the country, but also reveals their willingness to falsify the facts.”

The USA-based Freedom House describes the situation of the media in Sudan the “Worst of the Worst” in its Freedom of the Press 2015 report, to be launched in Washington on 29 April.

 


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