Khartoum — The security apparatus has blocked Sudan's El Jareeda newspaper from reaching the distribution outlets in Khartoum and the states for one week.
Every morning, officers of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrive at the printing press in Khartoum and hold the copies of the newspaper after printing and only allow them to be distributed after 8 am, after the distribution vehicles have left to the states from the major outlets in the capital.
The Sudanese Journalists' Network condemned in a statement the effective confiscation of El Jareeda newspaper by blocking its distribution.
In a statement, the network expressed support to the administration of the newspaper in resorting to alternative plans to thwart the security measures.
It called on the press base to raise the spirit of solidarity and support, because "the battle is one and the enemy one".
Prior censorship restored
As reported by Radio Dabanga last week, Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) has restored prior censorship of newspapers after a five-year hiatus.
Prior censorship means that officers from the security apparatus come to the printing press once the newspaper is ready to be printed, and review and remove material they do not want to be published.
Previously, before the prior censorship was lifted, security officers would come to the newspaper's headquarters at night; prevent the publication of articles that do not agree with their policies, however, censorship has directly moved from press headquarters to printing presses.
Journalists told Radio Dabanga that the security apparatus had ordered the printing presses not to print newspapers until they are read by their affiliates.
The editor-in-chief of El Jareeda newspaper, Ashraf Abdelaziz, said that the confiscation of the newspaper by the security apparatus for three consecutive days has caused it great losses estimated at SDG 200,000 (*$7,000).
He told Radio Dabanga that the security apparatus has followed a new method of confiscation by preventing printing presses from delivering newspapers to distributors before 8 a.m., which prevents the newspaper from reaching the distribution centres in the capital and the states.
Media in Sudan are constantly subjected to attacks on press freedom. The country is ranked at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index by the global monitoring institution Reporters Sans Frontières.
* Based on the indicative US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)