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Sudanese security seizes two newspapers

Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)
July 22, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Sunday seized copies of Al-Jareeda and Masadir newspapers from the printing house without stating reasons.

Chief-Editor of Al-Jareeda Ashraf Abdel-Aziz told Sudan Tribune the NISS confiscated print runs of his newspaper without giving reasons, saying he was later summoned to the information department at the NISS.

Abdel-Aziz pointed out that Al-Jareeda incurred a financial loss of 200,000 Sudanese pounds ($4000) as a result of the continued confiscations during this year.

He added the seizure of Sunday’s issue of Al-Jareeda was likely due to publishing a statement by Chief-Editor of Masadir newspaper Abdel-Magid Abdel-Hamid in which he protested against banning him from attending a meeting held by Egypt’s President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi with a number of Sudanese media representatives.

Abdel-Aziz stressed his newspaper has no negative stance against Egypt and was keen to cover the recent visit of President al-Sisi but it has published the statement as part of its ethical commitment and professional work.

Al-Jareeda has been one of the most newspapers in Sudan subject to suspension and confiscation. In May 2016, the NISS confiscated copies of the newspaper four times during five days.

The Sudanese security usually issues verbal directives to the Chief-Editors banning them from publishing particular news especially those pertaining to the protests and armed movements or other issues which the security sees sensitive.

It routinely confiscates newspapers either to prevent circulation of certain stories or to punish them retroactively for breaching unwritten red lines inflicting financial and moral losses on these media houses.

On January 7, the NISS confiscated 6 newspapers for publishing reports about the popular protests against the harsh economic conditions. Also, in February 2015, it seized entire print runs of 14 newspapers in one day without stating the reasons for its decision.