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Sudanese Security Order Reviewing of Newspapers Prior to Printing

Editors-in-Chief, publishers and printers owners received instructions from National Intelligence and Security Services officials conveying that they should not start the printing of any newspaper before newspaper is reviewed by a reviewer who is one of the members and operatives of the National Security and Intelligence Services. Journalists in Sudan said that this means the return of preliminary supervision.

Furthermore, National Intelligence and Security Services officials do not hesitate in banning journalists from writing, they also give too much verbal instructions to Editors-in-Chief, warning them from writing about or approaching certain specific topics.

Since the last days of this month, the National Security and Intelligence Services tightened the grip on Al-Jareeda and Al-Sayha newspapers and continued for the period of three days the handicapping of the distribution after the completion of the printing of thousands of copies without providing any justifications regarding these acts which caused significant financial losses.

Usually, the security supervisor and reviewer removes writings that criticise government entities. Also, the National Security and Intelligence Services, years ago, prohibited Sudanese newspapers from publishing news about or interviews with leaders of the armed opposition.

Journalism in Sudan is facing vicious attacks rapidly by the security authorities. After National Intelligence and Security Services stopped preliminary supervision on newspapers in 2013 based on a directive from the Presidency, it continued to punish newspapers by confiscating the printed issues of any newspaper that talks about the forbidden topics; which resulted in significant financial losses for the newspapers which originally face problems and decline in distribution.

Furthermore, Sudan is the 174th among 180 countries within the press freedom indicator list of 2018 issued by Reporters Without Boarders.

Moreover, it is important to mention that the oppressive procedures of the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Services against newspapers contradict Article (19) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the Article 39-(1) of the Sudanese Constitution: “Every citizen shall have an unrestricted right to the freedom of expression, reception of information, publication and access to the press without prejudice to order, safety or public morals.”

Source: Sudanjem