July 20, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Wednesday has confiscated copies of Al-Jareeda and Al-Taghyeer daily newspapers from the printing house without stating any reasons.
- A Sudanese man reads a newspaper as he waits to pay at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum (AFP)
Chief-Editor of Al-Jareeda Ashraf Abdel-Aziz told Sudan Tribune that NISS seized 11,000 copies of the newspaper on Wednesday resulting in huge financial losses.
He stressed that they didn’t receive any official notification from the NISS explaining reasons of the confiscation, ruling out the existence of a logical reason behind the move.
On the other hand, Chief-Editor of Al-Taghyeer Sumaia Sayed told Sudan Tribune that NISS didn’t explain the reasons of the seizure, saying the confiscation of the print runs inflicts huge financial losses on the newspaper.
“The confiscation exacerbates the [already] existing difficult economic conditions suffered by the press” she said.
Journalists working for Al-Taghyeer said the confiscation was likely due to a column written by Hayder al-Mukashfi on Tuesday in which he discussed several unsolved cases of mysterious disappearance of several persons.
He mentioned the case of Mohamed al-Khatim Musa Yaquob, a student leader from the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and son of prominent Islamist figure, who disappeared in suspicious circumstances in 2006 after he fell out with his party leadership.
Also, al-Mukashfi pointed to the case of Omer Haroun, psychology professor at the University of Khartoum, who disappeared in unclear circumstances in 2014.
The NISS routinely confiscates newspapers either to prevent circulation of certain stories or to punish them retroactively on previous issues.
It accuses the newspapers of crossing the red lines through publishing reports which adversely impact the national security.
Sudanese journalists say that NISS uses seizures of print copies of newspapers, not only to censor the media but also to weaken them economically.
Sudan’s constitution guarantees freedom of expression but laws subordinate to the constitution such as the National Security Forces Act of 2010 contains articles that can be potentially used to curtail press freedom and instigate legal proceedings against newspapers and individual journalists.