July 27, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Wednesday has confiscated copies of Al-Saiha 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-Saiha newspaper Al-Nour Ahmed Al-Nour said NISS agents came to the printing house and seized 14,500 print copies, pointing the financial loss is estimated at 30,000 pounds (SDG) (about $5000).
He added that the newspaper hasn’t violated the law or crossed the red lines stated by the government, saying they can’t predict any reason for the NISS’s move.
For her part, the Chief-Editor of Al-Taghyeer Sumai Sayed said the newspaper was likely seized due to an Op-ed written by Hayder al-Mukashfi in which he made a comparison between the failed military coup in Turkey and the 1989 coup which brought President Omer al-Bashir to power.
She stressed that al-Mukashfi wrote a professional article and has neither violated the law nor crossed the red lines.
Meanwhile, the board of directors of Al-Tagyeer, late on Wednesday decided to suspend the publishing to protest against the repeated confiscations of the newspaper.
In statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the chairman of the board Hafiz Humaida said they felt that the newspaper was targeted by the frequent and unjustified confiscations and decided to suspend publication.
It is noteworthy that Al-Taghyeer is owned by the famous Islamist and health minister of Khartoum state Mamoun Humaida while Al-Saiha is owned by the chairman of the Just Peace Forum (JPF) party and president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s maternal uncle Al-Tayeb Mustafa.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese Journalists Network (SJN) said the information department at the NISS on Tuesday has summoned producer and presenter of a sports programme at Radio Hala, Hassan Farouq.
According to the SJN, Farouq has discussed in his programme the government interference in the elections of the Sudanese Football Association (SFA).
It added that Farouq was interrogated at the NISS office from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (local time) before he was allowed to leave.
The NISS routinely confiscates newspapers either to prevent circulation of certain stories or to punish them retroactively on previous issues.
It uses seizures of print copies of newspapers, not only to censor the media but also to weaken them economically.