August 15, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday has seized print runs of Al-Saiha, Al-Mijher Al-Siyasi and Al-Ahram Al-Youm newspapers from the printing house without giving reasons.
- A Sudanese man reads a newspaper as he waits to pay at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum (AFP)
The confiscations come one day after the National Council for Press and Publications (NCPP) indefinitely suspended four newspapers including Al-Watan, Awal Al-Nahar, Elaph and Al-Mustaqilla for administrative reasons.
In a press release on Monday, the Sudanese non-governmental Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) network said the NISS imposes both pre-print and after-print censorship on newspapers, pointing it verbally instructed papers not to publish news reports pertaining to rebel groups.
Several newspapers have published interviews with rebel leaders during the recent round of peace talks between the government and armed groups that has ended on Sunday in Addis Ababa.
NISS has recently intensified its crackdown on the newspapers and confiscated copies of Al-Taghyeer, Al-Youm Al-Tali and Al-Saiha newspapers several times.
Last week, Al-Taghyeer newspaper decided to suspend publishing and started to lay off its staff following the large financial loss it incurred due to repeated confiscations.
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.
It accuses the newspapers of crossing the red lines through publishing reports which adversely impact the national security.
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.