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Sudanese security seizes Akhir Lahza newspaper for the second time

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June 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Sunday has seized print runs of Akhir Lahza newspaper from the printing house for the second day in a row without giving 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)

Chief-Editor of Akhir Lahaza Abdel-Azim Salih told Sudan Tribune the NISS move is against press freedoms, saying it harms the profession’s economics.

He added the confiscations comes at a time when the newspaper is struggling to pay the salaries of the journalists, saying the seizure would further aggravate the stifling economic conditions of the newspaper.

Salih pointed that Akhir Lahza is being prevented from paid ads, saying he contacted the pro-government Sudanese Journalist Union and the NISS to find out the reason for the confiscations but to no avail.

The managing editor of Akhir Lahza, Luay Abdel-Rahman Saturday told Sudan Tribune the seizure was likely driven by a column written by Abdallh al-Shaikh in which he criticised statements made by the First Vice-President and Prime Minister Bakri Hassan Salih on press freedoms.

However, Salih expected there are reasons other than the column published by the newspaper.

The NISS routinely confiscates newspapers either to prevent circulation of certain stories or to punish them retroactively on previous issues.

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

According to the non-governmental Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) network, the NISS confiscated newspapers 66 times from May 3, 2016, to May 3, 2017.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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