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Three newspapers hit by repeated confiscations

February 9 - 2018 KHARTOUM
Police cells in Sudan. Journalist Mohamed El Amin Osheek, detained in June 2017, reads a newspaper (file photo)
Police cells in Sudan. Journalist Mohamed El Amin Osheek, detained in June 2017, reads a newspaper (file photo)

The Sudanese security service confiscated the print-runs of three newspapers, El Jareeda, El Midan and El Tayyar for unknown reasons in Khartoum on Thursday morning.

The confiscation of El Midan, a newspaper by the Communist Party, is the third one this month. El Jareeda and El Tayyar independent newspapers have also been confiscated before.

In January, the Sudanese authorities started confiscating newspapers which covered the price hike protests. The Sudanese government's decision to devaluate the local currency in January and rising bread prices sparked ongoing protests across the country, which have resulted in police killing at least one protester and arresting hundreds of activists.

Osman Mirghani, the editor-in-chief of El Tayyar, said that the security service (NISS) confiscated all copies of the newspaper from the printing presses on Thursday morning. “The person who carries out the out the confiscation usually does not have sufficient information on the reasons for which the confiscation is carried out,” Mirghani explained.

“But there are no reasons or mistakes that require the confiscation. This is the third time that El Tayyar has been confiscated this year.” Earlier, the independent daily lost its print-runs to the security apparatus on January 7 and 11.

Coverage of protest

Ashraf Abdelaziz, the editor of El Jareeda newspaper, said that the reason behind the confiscation is the editorial line of the newspaper and its coverage of the civil actions against the increase of prices.

Abdelaziz said the newspaper confiscations are contradictory. “International agencies and satellite channels are covering the ongoing demonstrations in the country and the [ruling] National Congress Party’s newspaper editors comment, discuss and analyse these events. Meanwhile the authorities confiscate independent newspapers that do not belong to the National Congress, the next day.”

El Jareeda will stick with its independent editorial line in covering the events in Sudan, the editor-in-chief stressed. “It will stand with the issues of the masses professionally, no matter the cost of the losses.”

He criticised the Sudanese Press and Publications Council for not condemning the repeated confiscations and the arrests of journalists.

Journalists detained

Ahmed Jadein, a reporter for El Jareeda, has been held in detention along with Amal Habani, Kamal Karrar and Haj Moz. They were arrested while reporting at the scene of the protests in Khartoum which started mid-January, against the increased prices for bread and other consumer goods. Correspondents for Reuters and AFP were also detained for several days.

Jadein was arrested on January 31. Habani and Karrar have been held in detention since January 16. Radio Dabanga reported earlier that Habani was allegedly hit with an electric baton during an interrogation.

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