October 3, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday has confiscated print runs of Al-Saiha daily newspaper from the printing house without giving any reasons.
- A Sudanese man reads a newspaper as he waits to pay at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum, on July 31, 2011 (AFP)
A number of journalists working for Al-Saiha said the NISS didn’t inform the editorial board of the reasons for the seizure of the newspaper’s copies.
However, a journalist told Sudan Tribune on the condition of anonymity the newspaper was likely confiscated for publishing a series of Op-eds entitled “Notes in Politics and Good Governance” by former presidential advisor and chairman of the opposition Reform Now Movement (RNM) Ghazi Salah al-Din.
He said that Salah al-Din discussed in the last article the absence of democracy, transparency and good governance and its adverse impact on freedoms in the country.
Salah al-Din went on to say that the current political leadership in Sudan came to power by mistake, pointing to the leadership misuse of power and the missing opportunities of the Sudanese people.
Meanwhile, the Sudanese non-governmental Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) network has denounced the seizure of Al-Saiha, pointing that both pro-government and independent press are suffering continued violations by the NISS.
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.
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.
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.