September 9, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s second vice-president, Hassabo Mohammed Abdulrahman, announced that the presidency had decided to suspend pre-publication censorship carried out by the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) on newspapers.
Abdul-Rahman stressed in remarks on Tuesday before the General Assembly of Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) in Khartoum that the media has rights and obligations towards the country because of its large and active role in leading the society as well as upholding the values of religion and protecting the homeland and enforcing principles.
He warned against using the press in an abusive manner which would lead to the demolition of the society’s structure.
Abdulrahman went on to say that the government out of its acknowledgment on the importance of the media, organised the National Conference for Media as the first in a series of conferences aimed at bringing about comprehensive reform in the country.
Abdulrahman affirmed the government’s commitment to the outcome of the conference, which was approved by the cabinet, and pledged to work to turn its recommendations into reality in the interests of the press and journalists.
This is not the first time the government has declared an end to censorship before re-imposing it.
Sudanese journalists work under tight daily censorship controls exercised by the NISS to prevent publication of certain items deemed inappropriate by the security apparatus.
Over the last year the NISS intensified its crackdown on newspapers by seizing copies of newspapers before distribution or suspending the media house entirely.
These measures are seen as a penalty aimed at preventing the sale of printed copies and imposing financial losses.