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Sudanese security seizes three newspapers, arrests more opposition figures

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November 6, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Sunday has seized copies of three daily newspapers from the printing house without stating reasons.

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Sudanese journalists hold slogans which reads in Arabic ’Free press or no press’ as they protest against the suspension of AL-Tayyar daily newspaper at Sudanese Journalists Union’s office in the capital Khartoum on July 17, 2012 (GETTY)

Press sources in Khartoum said that Al-Tayyar, Al-Jareeda and Al-Watan newspapers were likely confiscated for publishing news reports criticizing the government decision to raise fuel and electricity price.

On Thursday, Sudanese government lifted fuel subsidies and increased electricity price in a bid to stop the surge in inflation and control the fall of Sudanese pound in the black market.

Accordingly, the price of gasoline went up to 6.17 pounds per litre, (27.5 per gallon) while the litre of diesel reached 4.11 pounds (18.8 pounds per gallon).

Also, electricity tariff for consumers of more than 400 kilowatts has increased, in order to not affect low-income households who are classified as low energy users.

Journalists working for Al-Watan told Sudan Tribune that the newspaper was seized for publishing an editorial by the Chief-Editor, Bakri al-Madani, entitled “Price increase: A declaration of failure” in which he discussed reasons of continued failure of economic policies and described the national Parliament as useless.

Also, journalists at Al-Tayyar said the newspaper was confiscated for publishing a column by the Editor-in-Chief Osman Mirghani entitled “This or the deluge” in which he called for establishing a new political experience after the failure of the regime.

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.

Meanwhile, the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) said the NISS on Sunday has arrested its deputy information secretary Abdalla Shams al-Koun Adam in Khartoum.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, SCoP underscored its continued resistance against the regime’s mounting repression, saying they would continue to work alongside other political forces to achieve rights of the Sudanese.

According to the statement, “a NISS force comprised of 7 officers dressed in civilian clothes on two vehicles arrested Adam in Khartoum’s eastern neighborhood of Riyadh”.

It is noteworthy that the NISS also arrested SCoP’s deputy chairman Khalid Omer Youssef on Friday and member of the Sudanese Communist Party (SCP) Politburo Mohy Al-din al-Jalad on Saturday.

Following recent decision to lift fuel subsidy and increase electricity price, the government deployed police and security forces on strategic buildings and streets in the capital Khartoum in anticipation of popular protests against the measures.

In September 2013 following the government’s decision to lift fuel subsidies, demonstrations broke out in several Sudanese states. Rights groups said that at least 200 people were killed but the government put the death toll at 85.

(ST)

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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