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Sudan security summons journalist over IS report

October 16 - 2015 KHARTOUM
Images of eight Sudanese medical students who left Khartoum to join IS in March this year (The Guardian)
Images of eight Sudanese medical students who left Khartoum to join IS in March this year (The Guardian)

Officers of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) in Khartoum summoned a journalist of El Siyasi daily newspaper on Monday over an article she wrote on the activities of Islamic State (IS) supporters in Sudan.

Manal Abdallah was questioned by two NISS officers, one of them in charge of the Terrorist File. They focussed on her sources and demanded their names, the Journalists Association for Human Rights (JAHR) said in a statement on Thursday.

70 Sudanese joined IS so far

On Monday, the Minister of Interior Affairs, Esmat Abdelrahman, reported at a cabinet session that about 70 Sudanese left Khartoum for Istanbul. From there they travelled to Syria. Others travelled to Libya to join the IS (Ed Daesh in Arabic) there. Two of them returned to Sudan.

He said that the Ministry agreed with the Turkish government to use very strict procedures when processing a visa application to the country.

Earlier this year, on 29 June, NISS agents confiscated the print-runs of El Jareeda and El Tayar newspapers without giving a reason. Yet, press sources suggested that the reason must have been reports about a number of Sudanese university students, including the daughter of the spokesman for the FA Ministry, who joined IS combatants in Syria.

FA spokesman Ali El Sadig at the time suggested that the travel was an organised event with high officials involved. It would otherwise have been impossible for the students to travel abroad without being held.

Most of the IS adherents who travelled come from wealthy Sudanese families. Several of them hold British and American passports. The majority graduated or were studying at the prestigious private University of Medical Sciences and Technology in Khartoum, owned by the Khartoum state Minister of Health, Mamoun Hemeida.

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