Sudanese journalists protest against press curbs, embark on strike tomorrow
Hundreds of Sudanese journalists demonstrated this afternoon in front of the National Press and Publications Council in Khartoum, in protest against the confiscation of the print-runs of ten newspapers and the indefinite suspension of four of them on Monday.
“Tomorrow (Wednesday), no newspaper will be distributed in Sudan, as the journalists and editors of all Sudanese newspapers will embark on a one-day strike,” journalist Adel Kalar, senior member of the Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN), told Radio Dabanga.
The protesting journalists today carried banners condemning the continuing press curbs by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), and demanded freedom of the press, publication, and expression.
Members of the SJN handed a memorandum to the management of the Press Council, denouncing the “continuing confiscations of print-runs by the security apparatus, its direct and indirect, pre and post publication, censorship of the newspapers, and the increase in NISS summons, accusations, and detentions of journalists and columnists,” Kalar said.
Journalist Durra Gambu told Radio Dabanga, in an interview to be broadcast on Wednesday, that the SJN called on the Press Council to “exert efforts, together with all the national executive and legislative bodies and parties concerned, to stop the gagging of the Sudanese press.
“This should include the Presidency,” she cited the memorandum, “as the Presidency is controlling the security apparatus, and granted its members an abundant package of guarantees and privileges, in spite of the Constitution and national laws. The abuses against the Sudanese press and the violations of the Constitution do not take place in isolation.”
Ashraf Abdelaziz, editor-in-chief of El Jareeda daily newspaper, which was suspended indefinitely by NISS officers yesterday, together with El Khartoum, Akhir Lahza, and El Intibaha, told Radio Dabanga that the 30 journalists working for his newspaper will “certainly be affected”.
He further stressed that if a newspaper violates the law, a complaint is to be filed at the competent authorities, “and not by oppressive procedures”.
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