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Sudan seizes newspapers, summon editors over meeting with EU-US diplomats

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Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)
October 4, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan security apparatus seized entire print runs of two newspaper Thursday and summoned their editors in chief, 24 hours after calling European Union Ambassador in Khartoum to protest the organisation of meeting with Sudanese journalists.

The Sudanese authorities used to confiscate newspapers for covering opposition activities, publishing critical opinion articles or sensitive news, but this is the first time they punish journalists for meeting with foreign diplomats.

The newspapers seized on Thursday morning were Al-Tayyar and Al-Jareeda, journalists from the two newspapers told Sudan Tribune. They added there was no official reason for the move.

Al-Jareeda Editor-in-Chief Ashraf Abdel Aziz told Sudan Tribune "the reason of the confiscation may be their participation himself and Osman Mirghani the editor-in-chief of Al-Tayyar in a meeting with the European ambassadors and the U.S. charge d’affaires.

Also, the two journalists were summoned by the National Intelligence and Security Services for questioning about their participation in a meeting with the western diplomats on the press freedom and the difficulties they are facing.

In a joint statement issued on 2 October, the EU and U.S. diplomats about the meeting said that "the importance of strengthening the freedom of the press and the freedom of opinion and expression in all media outlets, including online media, was stressed by all".

Furthermore, "concern about the constraints placed on these freedoms in Sudan, particularly with regards the ongoing newspaper seizures was also expressed".

The statement said the European and US diplomats pledged to engage with the Sudanese government for a constructive dialogue on the freedom of the press and the freedom of opinion and expression.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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