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Sudanese security allows Akhir Lahza newspaper to resume publishing

June 19, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has allowed Akhir Lahza daily to resume issuance on Tuesday after it has seized print runs of the newspaper for three consecutive days without giving reasons.

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A Sudanese woman reads a local newspaper in Khartoum in 2010 (AFP PHOTOS)

Chief-Editor of Akhir Lahaza Abdel-Azim Salih told Sudan Tribune the NISS agents informed him during a phone call on Monday that the newspaper could be published on Tuesday.

He added the NISS agents told him the newspaper was confiscated for three days because some Op-Eds have crossed the “red lines” while the country is facing challenges and crises.

Salih said he agreed with the NISS on the principle of press freedom without crossing redlines, pointing the newspaper has incurred more than 100,000 Sudanese pounds (SDG) (about $5500) loss due to repeated confiscations.

It is noteworthy that Akhir Lahza newspaper is owned by the prominent member of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) and former governor of South Darfur state Al-Hag Atta al-Manan.

Meanwhile, the managing editor of Akhir Lahza, Luay Abdel-Rahman Monday said he will go on strike to protest against the confiscations, saying the NISS actions reflects the regime’s real behaviour against freedom of expression and opinion.

He called on the Sudanese journalists to take the necessary measures to resist NISS’s continued infringe on the press freedoms, holding the National Council for Press and Publications and the Sudanese Journalists Union fully responsible for not protecting the press against the violations.

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.

Sudanese journalists work under tight daily censorship controls exercised by the NISS.
The NISS enjoys wide-ranging powers of arrest, detention, search and seizure according to the country’s 2010 National Security Act.

In February, the National Assembly rejected new amendments to the 2005 transitional constitution providing to restrict the powers of the security services and to guarantee political freedoms.

(ST)