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Sudanese security confiscates 3 newspapers, bans TV show

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

August 31, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Friday seized copies of Al-Jareeda, Al-Saiha and Al-Ray Al-Aam newspapers from printing house and banned a TV show without giving a reason.

On a Facebook post on Friday, the editorial team of Al-Jareeda said it decided to suspend publishing on Saturday and Sunday in protest against the NISS “systematic attack” on the newspaper.

It added the editorial team would consider all available options, stressing commitment to the principles and honour of the profession.

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 for five days.

Meanwhile, the NISS banned Al-Midan Al-Sharqi talk show at Omdurman TV.

Omdurman TV administration told Al-Midan Al-Sharqi host, Abdel-Bagi
al-Zafir, that his appearance on the channel was banned under the NISS
directives.

It is noteworthy that al-Zafir hosted several opposition leading figures who openly criticized the decision of the ruling National Congress Party (NCP) to nominate President Omer al-Bashir for a third term in the 2020 presidential elections.

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.

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)