News from Khartoum
Sudanese Newspapers Facing Financial Loss Due to Daily Confiscations and Advertisement Bans
Sudanese newspapers are facing the loss of hundreds of thousands of Pounds daily due to the confiscation of newspapers practiced by National Intelligence and Security Services.
Sudanese authorities, at dawn of Monday, held all the printed copies of both Al-Sayha and Al-Jareeda newspapers and released them at 8:00AM o’clock of the same day; all of which without disclosing any reasons.
Ashraf Abdelaziz, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Jareeda, considered the holding of the newspaper up to 08:00AM before allowing its distribution is the same as confiscating the newspaper; emphasising the impossibility of distributing the newspaper issue after 08:00AM wherein it becomes impossible to reach the other states of Sudan and the distribution centres – he also added that their financial loss can be described as devastating.
Ahmed Yousig Al-Tay, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Sayha, estimated in a statement to Baj News that the losses subsequent to the banning of the distribution of two issues of his newspaper in one week to be around 160 – 180 thousand Pounds.
Al-Tay also added: “you can estimate the losses of a newspaper forbidden from governmental advertisement, a newspaper completely relying on distribution income being banned from its readers.” Al-Sayha newspaper has printed 10 thousand copies for the Monday issue according to Al-Tay while Al-Jareeda usually prints 8 thousand copies.
Al-Tay and Abdelaziz both were not aware of the reasons behind the holding. Al-Sayha Editor-in-Chief requested the people affected to seek legal remedies while his peer in Al-Jareeda added that knowing the reasons behind the holding of the newspaper for hours before distribution could have helped them prevent future confiscations.
Sudan is the 174th among 180 countries within the press freedom indicator list of 2018 issued by Reporters Without Boarders.
It is important to mention that Sudan is one of the countries that approved of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which states in Article (19) that: “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,” despite its practice of arbitration against freedom of expression. Also, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights stated in Article (19) that: “Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.”
Furthermore, the Sudanese constitution included in Article 39-(1) that “The state shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society.”