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8 journalists detained without trial, Al Jareeda and Al Maidan newspapers suspended

Britain on Monday expressed its profound concern over the continued seizure of newspapers in Sudan. Meanwhile, the Sudanese security launched a crackdown on journalists, 8 journalists were arrested without trial and the print-runs of Al Jareeda and Al Midain newspapers were confiscated.

The Sudanese Justice and Equality Movement’s website announced the confiscation by the security services of Al Jareeda newspaper for three consecutive days after the latter published pictorial reports of the Sudanese queuing in front of bakeries and petrol stations. The newspaper’s print-runs were snatched from the printing press to ensure that they did not reach the readers. A number of Sudanese journalists have complained of the interference in and control of the newspapers by the security services and their punishment in case they have crossed what they call the red lines. The security apparatus also relies on the confiscation of newspapers and the prohibition of their distributing to prevent them from reaching the readers.

Of late journalists staged demonstrations against a proposed new Press and Publication Act which aimed at curbing media freedom in the Sudan. The proposed Act authorizes the Press Council to ban any newspaper from publishing for a period of 15 days without a court decision.

The British ambassador in Khartoum Mr. Erfan Siddiq said in a tweet that freedom of the press was guaranteed by the Sudanese constitution and should be respected. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), freedom of the press is witnessing a dire deterioration in Sudan, which is ranked by the organization as the seventh worst country. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: “everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers”.

Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states: “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order, the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Source: Sudan jem