Sudanese Security continues crackdown on press, journalists strike

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Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital
Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)
December 01, 2016 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Intelligence and
Security Service (NISS) on Thursday has continued its mass
confiscation of newspapers print-runs for the successive fourth day,
which coincided with the call for civil disobedience.

On Wednesday, two dailies went on strike and did come out in protest
against NISS crackdown on newspapers.

Mass confiscation has emerged as a new technique of punishment by the
NISS which tends to accuse the press of disseminating news that
adversely impact on national security.

On Thursday morning, NISS has confiscated the print-runs of Al-Tayyar,
Al-Youm Al-Tali and Al-Watan for the third successive day without any

Speaking to Sudan Tribune, the publisher of Al-Tayyar newspaper, Osman
Mirghani, said NISS had informed him that his newspaper could come out
on Friday, stressing that this is the first time that NISS assures him
the newspaper will not be confiscated.

“Al-Tayyar newspaper has lost 300,000 SGD (around $15.700) due to NISS
repeated confiscations for three days, in addition to the loss of

On Thursday, Al-Jareeda and Al-Mydan newspapers did not print
Thursday’s edition in solidarity with a strike announced by the
independent Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN) to protest against the
repeated violation of press freedom and mass confiscations of

Sudanese authorities have intensified their crackdown on newspapers
for its coverage of the three-day civil disobedience organized by
Sudanese activists from 27 to 29 November. NISS has confiscated the
print-runs of Al-Jreeda and Al-Ayam for three successive days.

In statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the independent Journalists
for Human Rights Network (JHR) denounced the "massacre of press"
carried out by the security apparatus and the lack of freedom of
expression in the country and pointed to the abusive confiscation of
the newspapers without explanation .

Also, the pro-government Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) regretted
confiscating newspapers print-runs, and called on the "parties to go
to court to resolve their conflict.

“Sudanese Journalists Union is in contacts with the relevant
authorities to reach an agreement ending newspapers print-runs
confiscations and to respect law prevalence,” said SJU in statement
extended to Sudan Tribune.

SJU went to say that there are arrangements to organize a meeting
between editors-in-chief, publishers and relevant authorities to end
the current tension and reach an agreement to enhance freedom of

Following the lift of pre-publication censorship, the NISS opted to
punish newspapers retroactively by seizing print copies of newspapers
that breach unwritten red lines related to national security.

The measure inflicts financial and moral losses on the media houses.
Journalists say that NISS uses seizures of of newspapers, not only to
censor the media but also to weaken them economically.


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