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Sudan security leans on El Jareeda journalists

December 29 - 2016 KHARTOUM
El Jareeda press conference in Khartoum yesterday
El Jareeda press conference in Khartoum yesterday

The print run of Sudan’s El Jareeda newspaper was confiscated from the presses for the second consecutive day on Wednesday morning, which represents the eleventh time in a month: The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) have pressurised the paper to ditch two of its columnists.

El Jareeda editor Ashraf Abdelaziz told Radio Dabanga that as no reasons were given for the confiscation, the newspaper contacted the officer in charge of the NISS, who told them that if they want to continue publishing, El Jareeda must get rid of writer Zuhair El Sarraj, and that Osman Shabbona has been banned from writing.

Abdelaziz said that yesterday, the newspaper held a press conference to clarify their position about the participation of the writers who have been banned. He said they suggested continuation of the publication of the newspaper without the banned writers, and to allocate page 13 for electronic publishing of articles by those writers.

Abdelaziz confirmed their resolute adherence to the editorial line, in which concern for the issues of Sudanese people is central.

El Jareeda was also seized on Tuesday, after which Abdelaziz stressed that the newspaper refuses to back down, whatever the costs, are as it is an independent newspaper that operates according to the law, and its editorial line mainly depends on citizen journalism.

Newspaper seizures are common in Sudan, which consistently ranks near the bottom of world press freedom indexes; however there has been a severe clampdown over the last two months since the start of the civil disobedience campaign.

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