Sudan: NISS Seizes Al-Taghyeer Newspaper From Print

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Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) has seized print editions of daily newspaper Al-Taghyeer.

NISS agents first seized print runs of the newspaper on Tuesday, without giving any official reason, and returned to do the same on Wednesday. Chief Editor Sumaia Sayed has revealed the paper is suffering heavy financial losses each day the print runs are seized.

 

No official reason given

No official reason has been given for the seizure of the print edition of Al-Taghyeer, but journalists working for the newspaper are believe an article about the International Criminal Court (ICC) is the likely culprit.

NISS doesn’t allow newspapers to publish articles about the ICC, since it released arrest warrants for Sudan President Omar Al-Bashir. The Sudanese leader has two warrants out for his arrest by the ICC for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity throughout the Darfur conflict.

 

NISS press censorship

NISS has a long history of seizing newspapers it deems to have crossed the line on news coverage. Sudan’s constitution guarantees the media freedom of expression, however, the country’s National Security Act of 2010 is regularly used to contravene the constitution.

NISS takes the stance that articles covering topics like the ICC are a threat to national security, seizing print runs any time it considers necessary. In February 2015, it seized the entire print runs of 14 newspapers without giving any official reason.

Last month a group of 30 journalists staged the country’s largest hunger strike in protest of NISS suspending the Al Tayar – a regular victim of security forces in Sudan. NISS use seizure firstly as a form of censorship but also as a means to hurt publications economically and put them at financial risk.

 

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