KHARTOUM, July 23 (Reuters) – The editors of a Sudanese English-language opposition daily prepared on Saturday to restart distribution after getting a nod from the country’s press council that a ban on the newspaper would be lifted.
Sudanese man reads a daily newspaper in Khartoum Monday July 11, 2005. (AP).
Alfred Taban, chairman of the board of directors of the Khartoum Monitor, told Reuters he had picked up a presidential decree overturning an earlier ban and presented it to the country’s press council.
“We were told we will get the official go ahead tomorrow,” Taban said. “We are getting ready to have an issue out on Monday.”
A supreme court judge ordered the newspaper’s closure in June in what was the latest of a series of court orders that started when the attorney-general took the paper to court about three years ago over a story on contentious social practices.
The decree issued earlier this week overruled the June decision, which had been criticised by the most senior United Nations official in Sudan. The newspaper can only go to print when the press council officially receives the decree.
The former southern rebels entered a new coalition government on July 9. Emergency law, including press censorship, was lifted the following day.
The north-south civil war was Africa’s longest and killed around 2 million people, mainly through disease and hunger.
The authorities have closed down the newspaper many times in the past two years, mostly for short periods of time.
The Sudanese authorities also suspended a southern-based English-language opposition newspaper in June after releasing on bail three of its journalists who were arrested for not having proper press accreditation.
The newspaper’s editor said he had been told by the authorities not to go to press until the trial of the three had ended.