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Sudanese journalists protest against suspension of al-Saiha newspaper

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October 15, 2014 (KHARTOUM) – Dozens of Sudanese journalists took part in a demonstration on Wednesday in front of the National Council for Press and Publications’ (NCPP) headquarters in Khartoum to protest against the indefinite suspension of al-Saiha daily newspaper.

Al-Saiha newspaper Logo (mugrn.net)

They held banners saying “No to suspension of al-Saiha”, “No to impoverishment of journalists” and “No to muzzling of the press”.

They handed NCPP’s officials a memorandum calling for their immediate intervention to protect newspapers against the continuous crackdown so that press could play its anticipated role in forming the much needed social awareness.

Al-Saiha was launched last March by the chairman of the Just Peace Forum (JPF) party and president Omer Hassan al-Bashir’s maternal uncle, al-Tayeb Mustafa.

On 17 May, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) suspended al-Saiha indefinitely. The decision came against the background of publishing several stories on corruption cases within government institutions.

Mustafa told Ashrooq TV that the government does not seek to settle the issue, saying the protest reflects rejection for restricting press freedoms in the country.

He pointed that newspapers suffer from continued government crackdown, saying al-Saiha was suspended for two times indefinitely.

The owner of the newspaper disclosed that several attempts were made to lift the suspension on al-Saiha, noting they will submit a memo to the constitutional court within the next few days.

He underscored they will not give up on the case until they achieve victory.

Sudanese journalists work under tight daily censorship controls exercised by the NISS.

Journalists say that confiscation and suspension of newspapers is a commonly used practice by the local authorities to overburden the newspapers with financial losses alongside other non-financial pressures.

Sudanese government vowed to ensure press freedom as part of confidence building measures before the national dialogue.

The JPF is one of the opposition parties participating in the political process which aims to end armed conflicts and adopt constitutional reforms.

(ST)

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