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Newspapers meet with Sudan’s NISS: ‘Confiscations suspended’

In a meeting between newspapers and the head of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), they agreed to form a committee to deliberate on the so-called red lines for Sudanese media. New confiscations of newspapers are therefore temporarily suspended. The purpose of the meeting with the NISS chief and newspapers, which also included the speaker of the parliament, was to discuss the issue of the ongoing confiscations of newspapers and the penalties the NISS imposes on media.

During the meeting, the NISS chief pointed to a temporary suspension of newspaper confiscations while the work of the joint committee that is to be formed, is pending. The Security did not specify how long the suspension of the confiscation of newspapers would be in force. The red lines are not dealing with news of the national security, including the movement of the army. Such a publication could harm the country. “Any other issues than that should be considered material for the press which it should address.” At the same time the NISS has restored prior censorship of newspapers after a five-year hiatus.

The confiscation of newspapers or the delaying in the distribution or detention in the printing press is a violation of the Constitution and contrary to international conventions and laws that stipulates the right to publish and press freedom and the citizen’s right to receive information, news and publications unconditionally. 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 organization Reporters without Borders (RSF).