Sudan newspapers seized for defying censorship

Sudan’s security apparatus has halted production of three Arabic newspapers for allegedly defying a censorship order, and on Wednesday confiscated an English-language daily for reporting the story.

”That story has caused us problems,” said Nhial Bol, editor of the Citizen, which planned on Wednesday to publish an article and editorial on the censorship.

”They confiscated our newspaper too.”

National security on Monday ordered 10 local newspapers to submit the next day’s editions to government censors before printing.

Ten papers refused and went straight to press, journalists in Khartoum said.

The newspapers Ajras al-Huriyya, Rai al-Shaab and al-Ayyam were not published on Tuesday after security agents collected dummies for 10 newspapers from the printer and cleared only seven of them.

Sudan’s interim constitution upholds freedom of the press and expression.

Bol said the Citizen had been allowed to publish provided the editorial and the article about security censorship of the media were scrapped.

The United States embassy in Khartoum on Tuesday urged the power-sharing government in Sudan, where north and south signed a peace agreement in 2005 ending Africa’s longest running conflict, to end media censorship.

”The US deplores this infringement of the press in Sudan and is deeply concerned about the aggression taken against these newspapers,” it said. — Sapa-AFP

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