September 9, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Saturday has seized print runs of Al-Tayyar newspaper from the printing house without stating reasons.
- A Sudanese woman reads a local newspaper in Khartoum in 2010 (AFP PHOTOS)
Journalists working for Al-Tayyar told Sudan Tribune that the confiscation was likely due to publishing an interview with the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/North (SPLM-N) Abdel-Aziz al-Hilu last week.
On Thursday morning, the NISS summoned the editor-in-chief of Al-Tayyar, Bahaa al-Din Issa, who was interrogated about the interview during three hours.
The NISS, on Thursday evening, issued a directive to the editors in chief of the local newspapers reminding them that the ban on publishing interviews or statements by the leaders of the armed groups is still in force.
The same journalists told Sudan Tribune that the NISS officers asked Issa about the interview, describing the move as a violation of the press honour code, as al-Hilu is leading an armed insurgency against the state and the press shouldn’t promote his movement’s ideas.
The NISS routinely confiscates newspapers either to prevent circulation of certain stories or to punish them retroactively on previous issues.
It accuses the newspapers of crossing the red lines through publishing reports which adversely impact on national security.
In February 2015, NISS seized entire print runs of 14 newspapers in one day without stating the reasons for its decision.
According to the non-governmental Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) network, the NISS confiscated newspapers 66 times from May 3, 2016, to May 3, 2017.