Home | News    Thursday 4 April 2013

Sudan security forces newspaper editor-in-chief to resign, detains Al-Jazeera bureau chief


April 3, 2013 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) today notified the Editor-in-chief of Al-Sahafa daily newspaper, Al-Nur Ahmed Al-Nur that he must resign his post and see that his name is removed from the paper’s letterhead.

JPEG - 46.5 kb
Journalists demonstrate outside the press and publication council against the closure of two Islamist newspapers Alwan and al-Rai al-Shaab in Khartoum February 7, 2012 (Reuters)

The paper which has been established in 1961, received a warning from the authorities that if Al-Nur continues his work as Editor-in-chief in defiance of this directive, the paper will be confiscated.

Al-Nur served in this position at Al-Sahafa newspaper since 2007. He also works as a correspondent for the London–based al-Hayat newspaper.

Security authorities did not cite reasons for Al-Nur’s suspension, but the newspaper has recently came under enormous pressure in the form of pre-printing censorship and was barred from publishing news reports and articles critical of the ruling National Congress Party or the government.

Sudan officially ceased direct press censorship in 2009 but continues to suspend and confiscate newspapers as a way of retaliation if they report on a long list of issues considered sensitive.

Newspapers also complain that they continue to receive phone instructions, usually via text messages from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), ordering them not to report on certain subjects.

Last year authorities suspended columnist Haidar Al-Makashfi who works for the same newspaper for 11 months and prohibited him from writing in any newspaper.

They also shut down three newspapers including the independent al-Tayar newspaper and two Islamist newspapers - Alwan and al-Rai al-Shaab.

Al-Nur said that his suspension is likely due to his clash with one of the security men on publishing news regarding the defense team assigned by the Islamic Movement for the coup attempt detainees, adding that authorities told him that he could continue writing in the newspaper but no longer as an editor-in-chief.

Authorities announced last November that they had arrested 13 suspects, including ex-spy chief Salah Gosh and Brigadier General Mohamed Ibrahim Abdel-Galil from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), on suspicion of standing behind a “subversive attempt”.

Last month, the trial of military personnel accused of involvement in the attempt began amid intense secrecy.

A defense team comprising of Omer Abdalla Elshiekh, Hashim Abubakr Elgaali, and others has been formed.

Mekki Elmograbi, President of the non-governmental Sudan Press Freedom (SPF) told Sudan Tribune in an emailed statement that the NISS also summoned Al-Masalami Kabbashi, the Al-Jazeera bureau chief in Khartoum.

"They investigated him from morning to evening with some hours for break and prayers," Elmograbi wrote.

"The authorities gave things with the right hand and took others with the left hand; they lifted the ban on writers Osman Shabouna and Ishag Fadl Allah, but still three journalists [remain] under the ban, today they banned the Editor of Al-Sahafa from his job" he added.

The crackdown comes days after Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir issued an amnesty on political prisoners which resulted in release of seven opposition figures and two ex-NISS officers arrested in connection with in last years’ coup attempt.

Bashir also hailed what he said was great freedoms enjoyed by the press in Sudan.

"On the media front and due to our conviction that the media is a vital partner we have allowed various media bodies ample room and high space to increase the coverage of radio and TV broadcasting. Radio FM stations increases and new satellite TV emerged and the number of newspapers increased" Bashir said at his speech before the national assembly this week.

"We have not banned any pen critical [of government] but only those who took advantage of the freedom for demolition, anarchy and crossing red lines" he added.

In 2010 Sudan suspended the broadcasts of the BBC Arabic on FM radio and also revoked license of Monte Carlo, the Arabic service of Radio France Internationale (RFI) which also used FM airwaves in Sudan.

In both decisions the government insisted that it was not linked to the contents of its reporting.


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.
  • 4 April 2013 09:06, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

    Arabs security.
    Please don’t dictating those of media always, let them be free to do their job as usual.

    repondre message

    • 4 April 2013 09:14, by Wunditda

      An autocracy in quality performance in Khartoum! My God, I pity those poor journalists under a tyrannical rule.

      repondre message

  • 4 April 2013 09:14, by Logic

    Oh yes Mr President, the press are really your partners but only when it suites your directives. Your failed & inept government is on the verge of collapse just like your own position. Just make sure you take your internet warriors with you, as they’re a mild nuisance.

    repondre message

  • 4 April 2013 09:25, by Turism

    the sudan govt is still arresting the watchdogs (media)people, what a fakes thinking is? their jeoleos also critize the journalists. shame.........on them fakes arabs.

    repondre message

  • 4 April 2013 12:30, by trinitri

    what to expect from those corrupted politicians?

    repondre message

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

Why the order establishing 28 states should be nullified 2015-10-04 10:29:29 By James Okuk On Friday 2nd October 2015 in Juba and quoting as usual Article 101 of Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (2011), President Salva Kiir Mayardit issued “Establishment Order (...)

Who to benefit from the Somaliazation of South Sudan? 2015-10-01 19:01:51 By Steve Paterno The question above is becoming more prevalent now more than ever, with the "imposition of peace agreement", (to borrow Riek Machar's phrase), along with President Salva Kiir's (...)

Lessons of Maridi fuel tanker “tragic incident” 2015-09-26 15:10:10 By Isaac Yak R. Tutdel The Republic of South Sudan, on 17th September 2015, learned with great dismay the massive loss of lives caused by fuel tanker which overturned and unexpectedly caught (...)


Latest Press Releases

Sudan Democracy First Group Statement on The International Day for Democracy 2015-10-01 22:18:58 22 September 2015 Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) commemorated on 15 September 2015 the International Day for Democracy, which the United Nations (UN) marks as a day to encourage governments (...)

Ambassador Buay congratulates South Sudanese diplomats for blocking sanctions 2015-09-19 00:20:30 SOUTH SUDAN DIPLOMATS IN MOSCOW SHOULD BE CONGRATULATED FOR PERSUADING THE FEDERATION OF RUSSIA TO BLOCK SANCTIONS For Immediate Release 9/18/2015 The people of South Sudan are extremely (...)

HRW urges African Union and United Nations to protect civilians in Darfur 2015-09-10 07:10:11 Sudan: Special Force Rampages in Darfur UN, AU Should Urgently Increase Civilian Protection (New York, September 9, 2015) – A Sudanese government special force has gone on two sprees of killings (...)


Copyright © 2003-2015 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.