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Security prosecution interrogates journalist over support to Sudan protests

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February 5, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The State Security Prosecution in Sudan on Tuesday interrogated a journalist and summoned others after a complaint filed by the security service following the publication of leaflets supporting the protest movement and calling for President Omer al-Bashir to step down.

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Shamael al-Nur

On Tuesday evening, Shamael al-Nur, a journalist at Al-Tayyar newspaper, appeared before the prosecution for investigation as a result of a complaint lodged by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS).

Sudan Tribune learned that the investigation focused on leaflets published on its Facebook page supporting the anti-government protests and criticizing President al-Bashir and NISS Director Salah Gosh for the use of violence against the peaceful demonstrators.

According to the sources, the female journalist faced charges of defamation of public officials and giving false information. After the investigation, she was released on bail.

The security apparatus bans objective coverage of the six-week protests and sanctions newspapers that that contravene its directives. On Tuesday the NISS prevented the printing of Al-Tayyar and Al-Jareeda newspapers. The two dailies are regularly targeted by the security service.

The sources said the State Security Prosecution prepare to summon a number of journalists who are active on social media and will seek to arrest those who are outside Sudan.

"Some countries have bilateral agreements with Sudan that allow the extradition of any wanted person who is in their territory," said the sources.

On 24 January, State Minister of Information, Mamoun Hassan Ibrahim, said that the competent authorities were taking legal action through INTERPOL and the local authorities to prosecute purveyors of fake news, especially in social media.

It is noteworthy that the State Security Prosecutor last month filed a complaint against 38 journalists on charges of incitement, public disturbance and dissemination of false news, disruption of peace and public tranquillity and defamation of public officials.

Among the sued journalists and activists 28 people are residing outside Sudan.

Last month, security authorities also revoked licenses of Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya TV and Turkish news agency Anadolu, saying their work had been evaluated and a decision had been made to prevent them from continuing to work.

(ST)

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