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Sudanese security seizes Al-Tayyar newspaper for the fifth time

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Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)
December 25, 2016 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Sunday has seized copies of the independent daily Al-Tayyar for the fifth time within a month without giving reasons.

NISS has recently intensified crackdown on newspapers for publishing news reports and articles on the recent nationwide civil disobedience actions. During the last month, it seized copies of various dailies 29 times.

Chief-Editor of Al-Tayyar Osman Merghani Sunday told Sudan Tribune that the NISS notified him of some reservations on the Op-eds published by his newspaper recently without mentioning specific names.

He pointed that Al-Tayyar was confiscated five times since the first civil disobedience call late in November, saying financial losses incurred are estimated at 500,000 pounds (SDG) (about $30,000).

Sudanese newspapers complain of the far reaching powers of the NISS which routinely punishes dailies through confiscation or suspension.

Following the lift of pre-publication censorship, the NISS started punishing newspapers retroactively by seizing copies of newspapers that breach unwritten red lines inflicting financial and moral losses on these media houses.

In February 2015, it seized copies of 14 newspapers from printing press without giving reasons.

Journalists say that NISS uses seizures of print copies of newspapers, not only to censor the media but also to weaken them economically.

Last July, Al-Taghyeer newspaper decided to suspend publishing and laid off its staff following large financial loss incurred due to repeated confiscations.

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