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Sudanese security detains opposition figures, confiscates 6 newspapers

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Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)

January 7, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese authorities Sunday have launched an arrest campaign and mass newspapers confiscations amid continued protests against harsh economic conditions.

Sporadic protests erupted on Friday in Khartoum and the Gazira State in central Sudan against the recent government decision to increase the bread price.

On Friday, bakeries raised the price of a loaf of bread from 50 cents to 1 Sudanese pound following a government decision to increase the price of flour sack from 167 pounds to 450 pounds.

Also, the protests continued for the third day on Sunday in a number of states amid calls by the opposition on the Sudanese people to take to streets to protests against the unprecedented rise in the cost of living and commodity price.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the opposition Sudanese Congress Party (SCoP) said its chairman Omer al-Digair was arrested in North Kordofan State on Sunday morning.

The SCoP added the former chairman of the party Ibrahim al-Shaikh and the human rights secretary Jalal Mustafa were also detained.

According to the statement, al-Daigiar travelled to North Kordofan State capital El-Obied to visit the head of the SCoP regional council Mohamed Nour Tirab who was detained in the town of Sodari.

The statement pointed out that the detention of its “leaders wouldn’t neither resolve the regime’s crises nor would it alleviate the mass pressure against the government failure to provide the basic needs”.

NEWSPAPERS CONFISCATIONS

Meanwhile, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Sunday morning seized copies of six newspapers from the printing press without stating reasons.

The seized newspapers include Al-Tayyar, Al-Mustaqilla, Al-Saiha, Al-Qarar besides the SCoP’s mouthpiece Akhbar Al-Watan and mouthpiece of the Sudanese Communist Party Al-Midan.

The chief editor of Akhbar Al-Watan, Hanadi al-Siddig, said: “she isn’t aware and wasn’t notified of the reasons for the seizure”.

However, al-Siddig pointed out that the confiscation was likely a reaction to the “transparent, honest and professional reporting on price increase and the high cost of living”.

For its part, the Reform Now Movement (RNM) led by Ghazi Salah al-Din has criticized the NISS campaign against the political and press freedoms.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the RNM described the NISS campaign as an attempt to cover up “economic disaster that has plagued the country as a result of irresponsible government policies”.

The RNM rejected the infringement on the freedom of publishing and expression and the arbitrary detention, saying the NISS actions are against “all heavenly laws, international and human rights laws and the outcome of the national dialogue”.

It further demanded the immediate release of all political detainees and on top of them the SCoP leader Omer al-Digair and former leader Ibrahim al-Shaikh.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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