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Sudan’s security apparatus confiscates two newspapers

August 27, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday seized copies of Al-Jareeda and Al-Saiha newspapers from the printing house without stating reasons.

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A Sudanese man reads a newspaper as he waits to pay at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum (AFP)

Journalists working for the two newspapers told Sudan Tribune the confiscation comes in continuation of previous confiscations which began prior to Eid al-Adha holiday.

They pointed out that the NISS director Salah Gosh, in a recent meeting with Chief-Editors of the newspapers, has stated redlines that mustn’t be crossed including the president of the republic.

Gosh also warned the Chief-Editors against covering news of the armed movements in Darfur, and the Two Areas.

It is noteworthy that Al-Saiha columnist Abdel-Bagi Al-Zafer has recently published ’the behind-the-scenes report’ on the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) decision to amend its constitution to re-nominate al-Bashir for a third term in 2020 elections.

Also, reliable sources told Sudan Tribune that the NISS has targeted Al-Jareeda because of its continued reporting on the opposition alliance “Sudan Call” which includes armed groups from Darfur region, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.

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.

(ST)