News from Khartoum
Security, newspapers agree on mechanism to control press
Chairman of the Parliamentary Information Committee, Mr. Tayeb Mustafa, announced an agreement between the Director of the National Intelligence and Security Services, Salah Gosh, and the chief editors of newspapers to set up a mechanism to control the performance of the press. Meanwhile, journalists described the mechanism as a new tool to suppress the press and curb press freedoms.
Mr. Al Tayeb wrote in his daily column in Al Sayha newspaper an article about the meeting of Salah Gosh with the chief editors of newspapers which he said came up with a mechanism for self-censorship to be exercised by a committee chosen by the Journalists Union, in order to bring an end to ongoing confiscation of newspapers by the security services. “All those present at the meeting agreed, without exception, that some of the news published in the newspapers is harmful to national and economic security,” Al Tayeb said in his article.
The journalists criticized the Chairman of the Parliament Information Committee, Al Tayeb Mustafa, for spearheading the initiative, saying he would not have done that had it not been for repeated confiscations of his newspaper, which caused him heavy financial losses, especially as he already suffers from financial problems, which he frequently mentions in his column, because of what he calls “government takeover of his share in Al Intibaha newspaper”. Mustafa sacked two days ago the editor-in-chief of his newspaper, Mr. Ahmed Yousuf Al Tai, because of his confrontational and uncompromising positions on the government.
On Monday, Security Chief Salah Gosh, met with newspaper chief editors in the presence of Parliament Speaker, Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, proposed by the Chairman of the Parliament Information Committee, Al Tayeb Mustafa.
Article 39 (1) of the Sudanese Constitution provides that: “every citizen shall have the unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals as determined by law. The state guarantees the freedom of press and other means of information according to the law in a democratic society. All media shall abide by the professional ethics, not to incite religious, ethnic, racial or cultural hatred or agitate for violence or war”.