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Sudanese media watchdog denounces decision to cancel radio series

July 13, 2015 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s Journalists’ Association for Human Rights (JAHR) has criticized the pro-government Sudanese Journalists Union (SJU) for urging the security services to stop a radio play broadcasted by the official station of Radio Omdurman.

On June 30, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) ordered the director of the Sudan National Broadcasting Corporation, al-Zubair Osman Ahmed, to stop the airing of the series titled “Bait al-Jalous”.

The radio series discusses a true story pertaining to the dubious relationship between power, wealth and the media.

In a statement issued on Monday, JAHR said that SJU and powerful media figures interfered to stop airing of the series, denouncing the attack on freedoms of expression and publication at all readable, audible and visible media institutions.

It expressed solidarity with the radio series team including actors, technicians and administrative staff, condemning what it describes as the “security role” played by the SJU and other bodies.

The Radio Omdurman started to broadcast the series on 18 June in conjunction with the holy month of Ramadan. It has broadcasted 12 episodes before it was stopped upon orders of the information department at the NISS.

JAHR pointed that the decision to stop the airing of the series drew wide condemnation from all circles particularly the drama community.

The series tells the story of a corrupt businessman who commits suspicious acts including blackmailing and bribery in order to disguise his disgraceful past.

NISS enjoys wide-ranging powers of arrest, detention, search and seizure under the country’s 2010 National Security Act.

It recently intensified its crackdown on print press but for the first time it intervenes to cancel the broadcast of a radio series.

(ST)

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