Home | News    Thursday 14 September 2006

Sudan bans edition of Al-Sudani newspaper for the 2ed time

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Sept 14, 2006 (KHARTOUM) — Sudanese authorities banned an edition of the Al-Sudani independent daily newspaper for the second time in one week, the paper’s editor said on Thursday.

Sudanese authorities stormed into the printing house of Al-Sudani late Wednesday and confiscated newspaper plates in order to stop the edition from appearing on the stands the following day, Mahjub Urwah said.

Authorities "took away some plates and distorted others in a way that the edition could not be reprinted," Urwah said.

"This (is) outrageous. My newspaper has been confiscated two times in less than a week," said the editor, whose offices were also stormed by authorities on Friday night in an attempt to alter Saturday’s edition.

The return of media restrictions is "in contravention of the constitution and the spirit of (Comprehenisive Peace Agreement)," signed between the country’s southern rebels and Khartoum in 2005 to put an end to a decades-long civil war.

Prior to the signing of the peace deal, Sudan was crippled by stringent media restrictions which began to ease with a new constitution calling for more freedom of the press.

The deputy editor-in-chief of Al-Sudani, Noureddine Medani, said that authorities had previously come to their offices and demanded the paper not publish certain articles but allowed the time for the editors to make adjustments.

However, Wednesday was the first time material was damaged.

On Tuesday, Sudanese journalists accused the government of imposing press restrictions in order to prevent media support for a UN resolution which calls for the deployment of UN troops in the country.

Several newspaper editors complained of having had newspaper articles confiscated under the pretext of "protecting journalists" following the killing of a prominent Islamist journalist last week.

Yasir Arman, Deputy Secretary General of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), a former rebel group which signed the 2005 peace deal to end the bitter north-south war, strongly denounced the restrictions and threatened to quit his role as chairman of the parliamentary information committee.

(ST/AFP)

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