Sudan clamps down on press amid anti-austerity calls

Authorities reportedly seize Thursday editions of three daily papers amid activists’ calls for civil disobedience

Sudan clamps down on press amid anti-austerity calls

World Bulletin / News Desk

 Sudanese authorities confiscated the Thursday editions of three daily newspapers before they were distributed for sale amid ongoing calls by activists for anti-austerity protests, local journalists said.

According to the editors-in-chief of two daily papers, Al-Youm al-Tali and Al-Tayar, Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Service seized the daily editions of both newspapers on Thursday -- for the third consecutive day -- without giving a reason.

The two editors-in-chief, Muzammil Abu al-Qasim and Osman Mirgani, linked the move to both papers’ coverage of ongoing calls by Sudanese activists for a campaign of civil disobedience to protest recent subsidy reductions.

On Sunday, social-media activists issued calls for public civil disobedience to protest a recent government decision to lift subsidies on fuel, electricity and medicine.

A number of Sudanese opposition parties and rebel groups have reportedly thrown their support behind the protest calls.

Sudanese authorities also confiscated the daily edition of Al-Watan newspaper on Thursday for the second day in a row, according to local journalists.

Recent days have also seen the daily editions of two other papers -- Al-Jareeda and Al-Ayam -- confiscated by the authorities.

According to Al-Tayar’s Mirgani, U.S. envoy to Sudan Donald Booth, who is currently on a visit to the country, has requested meetings with the editors-in-chief of the confiscated newspapers.

While Anadolu Agency was unable to obtain immediate comment from the authorities on the reported confiscations, Sudanese officials have said in the past that state security agencies have the authority to stop publication of press reports deemed "harmful to national security".

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Last Mod: 01 Aralık 2016, 19:45
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