Home | News    Friday 7 March 2008

Sudan reimposes censorship on newspapers


March 6, 2008 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese authorities have reimposed daily censorship of newspapers after they published reports accusing the government of backing Chadian rebels, journalists and a security official said on Thursday.

JPEG - 8.9 kb
A Sudanese man reads a daily newspaper in Khartoum Monday July 11, 2005. (AP).

Journalists and local human rights activists criticised the move, which they said had begun nearly three weeks ago after rebels stormed the Chadian capital N’Djamena in a failed attempt to topple President Idriss Deby.

Journalists said security agents visit the newspapers every evening and take out what they deem as sensitive material. The censorship has further strained already-tense relations between the government and privately-owned newspapers.

The security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the censorship was "temporary."

Sudan eased press censorship after a new constitution put in place at the end of a two-decade civil war between the north and south in 2005 guaranteed freedom of the press.

But authorities confiscate papers sporadically and there have been reports of journalists coming under pressure over sensitive issues.

"Censorship has been re-imposed since the crisis of Chad," Mohamed Latif, a prominent writer in the privately-owned daily Al-Sudani, told Reuters. "Whenever the government is in a political predicament, it imposes censorship."

Chad accused Khartoum of backing the rebels. The Sudanese government denies this and accuses Deby of supporting rebels in the war-torn region of Darfur in western Sudan.

Authorities prevented opposition newspaper al-Rai al-Shaab from being published on February 14 for trying to print columns accusing the government of backing Chadian rebels.

Shortly afterwards, security agents summoned editors of five newspapers for questioning over articles about changes in the upper-level positions of the police force. The summons prompted street protests by dozens of journalists.

Ahmed Khalifa, editor of Al-Watan newspaper and among those summoned, said papers now risked confiscation if they go to print without government approval.

The security official said newspapers have violated a deal with the government whereby censorship stopped as long as journalists avoided publishing "false information."

"But some newspapers again started to repeat what is being said by foreign sides, like the Chad issue," he said.

Censorship would stop once the justice ministry concludes efforts to reach a deal that will prevent similar incidents in future, he added. The justice ministry was not available for comment.

Faisal ElBagir, co-founder of the group Journalists for Human Rights, said imposing censorship was unconstitutional.

"This censorship should be lifted immediately," he said. "If newspapers commit mistakes, they should take us to the courts."


Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.

Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis

Sudan’s removal from terror list taints U.S. values 2018-11-10 08:34:32 November, 9th, 2018 The Honorable Michael Richard Pompeo Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C St NW, Washington DC 20520 USA RESPONSE BY SUDAN LIBERATION MOVEMENT (SLM/A-AW) TO (...)

R-ARCISS: A Peace that divides the signatories and non-signatories 2018-11-10 07:58:28 By Tito Awen, Juba-South Sudan I keep wondering if peace can divide or unite the partners. I am not so young nor unmindful not to have known what happened after signing of the Comprehensive (...)

U.S. Move Ignores Sudan’s Abuses Against its Own People 2018-11-09 06:56:11 U.S. Considers Lifting Sudan’s ‘Terror State’ Designation By Jehanne Henry With all eyes on mid-term elections in the United States, almost no one noticed that on the same day the US State (...)


Latest Press Releases

Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)

4th Annual Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum Announced for 25th October 2018 2018-10-15 12:38:14 PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 14, 2018 Africa’s leading entrepreneurship-focused philanthropic organisation, the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced October 25, 2018, as the date for its (...)

Unity State community in Kenya supports Khartoum peace agreement 2018-08-17 08:33:21 PRESS STATMENT 14th Aug, 2018 Re: We shall Rally behind Khartoum Peace Agreement The Unity State Community Association in Kenya was established in 2010 to organize and mobilize the people of (...)


Copyright © 2003-2018 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.