November 14, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday has seized copies of Al-Watan newspaper for the second time within ten days from the printing house without stating reasons.
- A newspaper vendor in South Sudan’s capital, Juba (Photo: Cafod)
Journalists working for Al-Watan told Sudan Tribune that the newspaper was likely seized for publishing an interview with the former Vice-President al-Haj Adam in which he said that the government won’t back down from its decision to lift fuel and electricity subsidies despite the protests.
On November 3rd, 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.
Several small-scale protests broke out in several towns across Sudan, including the capital Khartoum, Atbara, Wad Madani and Nyala to protest the government decision.
On 6 November, the NISS seized copies of Al-Tayyar, Al-Jareeda and Al-Watan newspapers for publishing news reports criticizing the government decision to scrap raise fuel and electricity subsidies.
Meanwhile, the NISS on Sunday detained reporter Mohamed Abu Zaid of Al-Saiha newspaper for two hours in Khartoum’s twin city of Omdurman.
In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Friday, the non-governmental Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) network said Abu Zaid was covering protests that erupted at Omdurman Islamic University against price increase.
JHR said the NISS seized Abu Zaid’s mobile phone and deleted pictures of the protests before they released him and handed him back his phone, pointing they warned him against publishing any negative reports on the protests.
On Thursday, the NISS detained two journalists Mohamed Al-Amin Abdel-Aziz, a journalist, collaborator of Al-Jareeda newspaper and Amal Habani for several hours.
Also, the Press and Publications prosecutor office on Wednesday has interrogated journalist Tasneem Abdel-Sid Ibrahim of Al-Sudani newspaper for publishing a report on the deteriorating services at the Khartoum Radiotherapy and Isotope Hospital.
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.