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Sudanese security seizes Al-Tayyar newspaper for the second time

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Sudanese men look at newspapers displayed at a kiosk in the capital Khartoum on February 16, 2015. (AFP Photo)

September 12, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has seized copies of Al-Tayyar newspaper on Tuesday for the second time in the same week.

On Saturday, the NISS confiscated print runs of Al-Tayyar for publishing an interview with the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu.

Journalists working for Al-Tayyar told Sudan Tribune that NISS officer arrived at the printing house at 4:30 am (local time) on Tuesday and ordered to confiscate the print runs.

They pointed out that the financial loss is estimated at 100,000 pounds (SDG) (about $4600).

The same journalists said the NISS informed the editorial board of the newspaper that the seizure was due to publishing a column under the title “A new Revenge Campaign” by Asma Guma’a in which she criticized an expected move to establish a religious group to enforce Sharia law on behalf of the state in respect to moral behavior.

In June 2012, the NISS suspended al-Tayyar indefinitely and allowed it to reopen in March 2014 upon a ruling of the Constitutional Court. However, it suspended the newspaper again on December 15, 2015.

However, Sudan’s Constitutional Court in May 2016 ordered to allow Al-Tayyar to resume publishing.

Following the lift of pre-publication censorship, the NISS started punishing newspapers retroactively by seizing copies of newspapers that breach unwritten red lines inflicting financial and moral losses on these media houses.

In February 2015, it seized copies of 14 newspapers from printing press without giving reasons.

Journalists say the NISS uses seizures of print copies of newspapers, not only to censor the media but also to weaken them economically.

In July 2016, Al-Taghyeer newspaper decided to suspend publishing and laid off its staff following large financial loss incurred due to repeated confiscations.

(ST)

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