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Sudan security gags El Watan daily newspaper

June 8 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Sudanese newspapers (file photo)
Sudanese newspapers (file photo)

Agents of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated the copies of El Watan newspaper from the printing press in Khartoum on Sunday.

No reasons were provided, but most likely the action was triggered by comments published by the newspaper on differences within the ruling National Congress Party concerning the formation of a new government, which was delayed by three days.

During the past years, the NISS upgraded its already severe restrictions on press freedoms, by restoring “pre-publication censorship” and issuing a number of “red lines” on matters that are not supposed to be tackled by the media.

Between 3 May 2014 and 2 May 2015, the NISS confiscated 66 print-runs of Sudanese newspapers, according to the Sudanese Journalists’ Association for Human Rights (JAHR).

On 25 May, the print-runs of ten newspapers were confiscated. Four of them were suspended for an indefinite period of time. The record stands with the confiscation of copies of 14 newspapers from the Khartoum printing presses on 16 February.  

The purpose of confiscating print-runs is to exhaust the newspapers financially, the editor-in-chief of El Jareeda newspaper earlier explained to Radio Dabanga. “It is in fact a direct and methodical liquidation, meant to kill the independent press.” 

Sudan rates 176, together with Gambia and Venezuela, of the 199 countries listed in the Freedom of the Press 2015 report of the USA-based Freedom House.

 


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