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Sudanese journalists ‘down pens’ to protest NISS press confiscations

December 6 - 2017 KHARTOUM
Journalists on strike in Khartoum on Tuesday (RD)
Journalists on strike in Khartoum on Tuesday (RD)

The Sudanese Journalists’ Network called a one-day strike on Tuesday to protest the campaign of newspaper confiscations that is entering its second week. 70 per cent of them responded to the call to ‘down pens’.

On Tuesday the security apparatus again confiscated El Tayyar, El Jareeda, Akhir Lahza, and El Watan from the printing works.

Journalist Mohamed El Amin Yassin of the leadership of the Sudanese Journalists’ Network, told Radio Dabanga that the participation rate in the strike was 70 per cent as most journalists came to the headquarters of the newspapers and put on record that they will be refraining from carrying out editorial and press tasks.

Yassin described the strike as successful despite a campaign by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) to intimidate the striking journalists and threaten them with arrest.

He called on the journalists to unite and stand up against the security confiscation campaign and amendments to the Press Act.

National Dialogue Advocacy Trend

The national dialogue advocacy trend has praised the journalists’ strike and considered the move as “exposing the government and embarrassing the national dialogue parties that have failed to implement the outcomes of the national dialogue”.

The trend said in a statement “There has been a lot of violations in the government’s file of freedoms and confiscation of newspapers”.

The statement commemorated El Wathba dialogue and lamented that “Sudan has become a police state… [the dialogue] transformed the government from a reconciliation government into a government of the security and intelligence services”.

El Midan, a newspaper maintained by the Sudan Communist Party, announced that it not publish on Tuesday. “In solidarity with the confiscated newspapers and in response to a call by the Sudanese Journalists' Network.”

Communist Party

The Sudanese Communist Party called on journalists to defend their profession and pride by rejecting any repressive measures that prevent them from writing, restrict production and publication of newspapers and magazines. “Or whatever expresses people's interests, ideas and creativity.”

Faisal El Bagir, the coordinator of Sudanese Journalists for Human Rights, described the confiscations as “state terrorism against the press and journalists”.

“The purpose of this attack is to make Sudan a completely dark state in terms of media, in preparation for the establishment of the militia state,” he told Radio Dabanga.


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