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Security resumes pre-publication censorship on newspapers

Sudanese journalists announced the return of pre-publication censorship as security authorities ordered that newspapers should not be printed before they have been screened by their operatives.

Journalists told the Sudan Tribune that managers at a number of printing presses, as well as chief editors and publishers, have been instructed by security agents not to start printing newspapers before they are screened by a censor. They said the journalists did not know why the decision was taken, and whether it is a temporary measure or it will continue for some time.

The security forces tightened their grip on Al Jareeda and Al Sayha newspapers for three days this week by disrupting the distribution process after the printing of thousands of copies, without giving any justification. The security censor continues to remove editorial materials which include criticism of the government bodies, and also prevented the publication of interviews with leaders of armed movements, and accused some newspapers of crossing the “red lines” by publishing news affecting the national security of the country.

It is worth mentioning that after the lifting by the security apparatus of the pre-publication censorship on newspapers in 2013 based on direction of Presidency, it resorted to another tactic to punish them retroactively by confiscating the print-runs of any newspaper that crosses the “redline”.

Article 39 (1) of the Transitional Constitution stipulates 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.

Source: Sudanjem