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Al-Saiha newspaper expected to resume publication this week: editor

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June 23, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – The editor-in-chief of al-Saiha newspaper, Yasser Mahjoub Hussein, told his staff on Monday that authorities will allow them to resume publication and that a formal decision is expected to be made on Tuesday.

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Al-Saiha newspaper Logo (mugrn.net)

He told journalists to get ready to get back to work by next Sunday at the latest.

On 17 May, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) ordered the suspension of al-Saiha newspaper after it published stories on corruption at the justice ministry. The famous amongst which was the corruption accusation against the current undersecretary of the justice ministry, Esam al-Din abdel-Gadir.

According to local reports, 13 journalists working for al-Saiha have been charged and are being prosecuted for their writings.

The suspension decision was made under the direct orders of NISS’s director, Mohamed Atta Abbas al-Moula.

The Sudanese minister of information Ahmed Bilal Osman said at the time that the NISS has the legal right to suspend al-Saiha and any media raising confusion and dissension in the country.

Hussein and the newspaper’s owner al-Tayeb Mustafa, who is president Omer Hassan al-Bashir maternal uncle, held a meeting with NISS officials in which they were informed about imminent lifting of suspension.

According to a senior NISS official there were “good indications” followed the meeting.

Al-Saiha’s editor-in-chief told Sudan Tribune previously that authorities are deliberately trying to punish them through the daily summoning of newspaper’s staff including chairman of the board and senior editors.

He disclosed that the newspaper suffered heavy financial losses due to the suspension in the amount of 30,000 pounds a day in addition to the moral loss of being unable to reach their readers.

Sudanese journalists work under tight daily censorship controls exercised by the NISS.

Journalists say that confiscation and suspension of newspapers is a commonly used practice by the local authorities to overburden the newspapers with financial losses alongside other non-financial pressures.

NISS recently intensified its crackdown on press in the country accusing them of crossing the red lines through publishing reports which adversely impact the national security.

On 19 May, the Sudanese presidency delivered a firm warning to media outlets on its coverage of certain items that poses a danger to national security and the country as a whole.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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