Home | News    Tuesday 19 December 2017

Sudanese security seizes Al-Watan newspaper, detains its chief editor

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Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)
December 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has confiscated copies of Al-Watan newspaper from the printing house in the early morning of Monday without providing an explanation.

Also, Al-Watan managing editor Abdel-Wahab Musa told Sudan Tribune the newspaper’s chief editor Youssef Siraj was detained in the early hours of Monday and hasn’t yet been released.

He said the newspaper administration has notified the chairman of the pro-government Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) al-Sadiq al-Rizaigi and the Information Minister Ahmed Belal of Siraj’s detention, saying they vowed to contact the competent authorities to resolve the issue.

Journalists working for Al-Watan said the news daily was likely seized for constantly publishing reports discussing the rising commodity prices and a high cost of living.

On Saturday, the newspaper carried headline saying: Bread and Fuel crisis in Wad Medani (capital of Gazira State), while on Sunday the headline said: High Prices and Fears of Diminishing Flour Quota.

Last month, Al-Watan along with Al-Tayyar, Al-Jarida and Akhir Lahaza newspapers were confiscated eight times by the NISS.

Press censorship was officially abolished in Sudan in 2009, but gradually the security services resumed the confiscation of newspapers since the secession of South Sudan in 2011.

Confiscation of printed copies is seen as an economic penalty on the press the security service decides when a newspaper publishes news or opinion articles criticising the government.

But sometimes the measure aims to prevent publication of statements or disclosure of information on sensitive issues.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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