Sudan: Anti-Corruption Committee 'Not Restricting Media Freedom'

Khartoum — The measures that the Anti-Corruption Committee is taking to dismantle Sudan's former regime are not intended to restrict freedom of the media, states Undersecretary El Rashid Saeed of the Ministry of Culture and Information.

The Anti-Corruption Committee suspended Ashorooq and Teiba TV satellite channels, and El Sudani and El Ray El Aam newspapers last week. The suspension is to last until the companies that own these media have been investigated.

The Journalists Association for Human Rights commented on the suspension by saying it considers these policies "inconsistent with the calls of the revolution for freedom and justice".

Undersecretary El Rashid Saeed stated in a press conference on Sunday that the Committee does not target the editorial policy or the orientation of media outlets. The Anti-Corruption Committee is only interested in the ownership and the finances of these media institutions.

Money from the state

He explained that the institutions affected by the measures received money from the state in improper ways. "The Committee aims to recover the state's money which is the people's money."

Wajdi Saleh, member of the Anti-Corruption Committee, confirmed that the decisions to audit the accounts and property of the media institutions are not related to editorial policies, but to recover public funds on behalf of the Ministry of Finance.

He confirmed that the Committee also ordered an audit of the accounts of the International University of Africa, as it received the largest support from the Sudanese Ministry of Finance. The University received more than SDG 400 million ($ 8.8 million*) annually and has not been audited before.

*As effective foreign exchange rates can vary in Sudan, Radio Dabanga bases all SDG currency conversions on the daily US Dollar rate quoted by the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS)

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