The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ) the Regional Group of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned today the clampdown on 14 newspapers inSudan.
“Security forces must stop intimidating journalists over their provisions of the media service in Sudan”, FAJ said in a statement. “This wider plot by the Sudanese Security to muzzle media freedom is a move that must be resisted by all believers in press freedom.” said Mohamed Garba President of the FAJ. “FAJ is raising serious concerns on this diversionary attempt to deflect attention from the credibility issues and “setback” in the course of press freedoms” added Garba.
On Monday February 16, Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) confiscated 14 newspapers before they reached the market without giving reasons and consequently placing subsequent heavy financial burden on the already suffering Sudanese newspapers.
“Such press freedom violations confiscating the social newspapers Hikayat and Al-Dar besides 11 political newspapers including Al-Sudani, Al-Rayaam, Al-Intibaha, Al-Tayar, Al-Saiha, Akhir Lahza, Awal Al-Nahar, Al-Migher Al-Siyasi, Al-Watan, Alwan, Al-Ahram Al-Youm and Akhbar Al-Youm in SUDAN should be investigated to know about the number of confiscated copies besides unknown circumstances” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.
According to the deputy chairman of the Sudan Journalists Union (SJU) an IFJ and FAJ affiliate, Mohamed al-Fatih, most of the social and political newspapers were confiscated from the printing press on Monday 16, except Al-Ayaam, Al-Youm Al-Tali, Al-Mustaqilla, Al-Akhbar, Al-Wifaq, Al-Sahafa, Al-Taghyeer, Al-Jareeda and Al-Khartoum.
“There is a serious affront to media freedom in Sudan following this move which is not commensurate with the constitutional developments and the prevailing atmosphere of freedoms and dialogue” said FAJ President Mohamed Garba “expressing regret over the applied special measures against newspapers away from the Press and Publishing Act which governs press practice in Sudan “.
“Sudan has no right to lag behind in respecting and promoting press freedom even if sources in Khartoum said the move was caused by publishing news on the decision of the National Elections Commission (NEC) to extend polling in upcoming elections to three days compared to one day in 2010 elections. “IFJ and the FAJ join their affiliate Sudan Journalists Union (SJU) to stand by all journalists in Sudan” said Mohamed Garba, FAJ President.
For more information, please contact FAJ Secretariat: +221 33 867 95 86/87
The FAJ represents 50,000 journalists in Africa