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Sudanese security seizes Al-Saiha newspaper for fourth time

Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)
September 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on Monday seized copies of Al-Saiha newspaper from the printing house without stating reasons.

The confiscation of Al-Saiha is the fourth of its kind during three weeks. It comes in continuation of previous confiscations which began prior to Eid al-Adha holiday.

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.

Chairman of Al-Saiha board of directors and maternal uncle of President al-Bashir, Al-Tayeb Mustafa, on Sunday said the NISS has instructed him verbally to ban al-Zafir from writing in the news daily.

In a meeting with Chief-Editors of the newspapers last month, the NISS director Salah Abdalla (aka Gosh), 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 reasons for its decision.