Khartoum — On Friday, the security apparatus confiscated the print runs of El Jareeda, El Tayyar, and El Rai El Aam newspapers from the press without explanation. These confiscations were permanent instead of a temporary delay in distribution.
Ashraf Abdelaziz, the editor-in-chief of El Jareeda newspaper, said this has been the 12th confiscation in August.
He added that the confiscation was carried out without any explanation as final. The security officials did not simply delay distribution as it was in the past, where the copies would be returned after 8am.
'Red lines' unclear
He told Radio Dabanga "in the past there used to be 'red lines' not to criticise the President or Vice-Presidents of Sudan, members of the security apparatus, and the police, however, the lines have become unclear and unknown now".
He said the newspaper has suffered great losses as a result of the confiscation.
The editorial board of El Jareeda announced a suspension of publishing issuance on Saturday and Sunday in protest against what it described as "the systematic terrorist-style attack of liquidation beyond the department of Justice and the courts".
The board confirmed its commitment to honour the profession and the word and honesty without deviating from the right and principles.
In June, journalists decried the draft Press and Publications Act which the Cabinet approved. It provides for the suspension of journalists from writing and the expansion of powers of the Press and Publications Council.
Earlier in August, newspapers and the head of the NISS agreed to form a committee to deliberate on the so-called red lines for Sudanese media. New confiscations of newspapers were temporarily suspended, while the work of the joint committee was pending. The security service did not say until when the temporary suspension is active.
In the preceding week the distribution of El Jareeda newspaper was purposely delayed by the NISS for six days in a row because of its critical content. It was the third time El Jareeda suffered from press curbs by the Sudanese security service in two weeks' time: it blocked the newspaper from reaching the distribution outlets in Khartoum and the states.
In a meeting between newspapers and the head of the Sudanese security apparatus this month, they agreed to form a committee to deliberate on the so-called red lines for Sudanese media. New confiscations of newspapers were temporarily suspended.
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 organisation Reporters Without Borders (RSF).