Sudan: Newspaper Banned, Journalists Threatened

Protestors chant slogans in Khartoum against President Omar al Bashir and his government (file photo).

Khartoum — Officers of the Sudanese security apparatus have continued confiscating newspapers in Khartoum, most recently banning El Jareeda daily from printing on Sunday.

The newspaper was banned on the same day that the Sudanese Journalists Network expressed concern over reports of abuse of journalists by members of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). Additionally, the network is concerned about threats received by some journalists who wrote critical pieces about the killing of demonstrators.

Also, in the statement, the suspension of journalist Yousef El Jalal from the S24 satellite station on the grounds of his appearance in one of the channels as an analyst, was condemned.

The network further called on all Sudanese journalists in Khartoum to participate in the march organised by the Sudanese Professionals Association yesterday. This echoed calls made by the network last week for journalists to go on a three-day strike.

Ongoing arrests

Nine journalists were briefly arrested last week by the NISS while gathered outside the headquarters of the newspaper El Tayar in protest against harassment of the media. Around ten reporters were also briefly arrested by the NISS on 25 December. On that same day, three journalists were physically attacked by members of the security forces. Two - Al Jazeera correspondent Ahmed Alrehaid and El Tayar editor Khalid Fathi - were injured while covering protests. The third, El Sudani editor Yassir Abdallah, received several blows to the face as he was forcibly taken away in car after a NISS raid on the newspaper. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported the security forces also tried to storm the offices of two other newspapers, El Tayar and El Mustaqila.

On December 20, the NISS summoned several journalists in Khartoum for covering topics related to the ongoing economic crisis, and related cash, fuel, and bread shortages. The Sudanese Journalists' Network has condemned the summonses as a violation of the media charter.

The media in Sudan are continuously subjected to confiscations of newspapers, and summons and detentions of journalists. Sudan is ranked at the bottom of the World Press Freedom Index by RSF.

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