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"Al-Khabar" newspaper shut down amid escalating media repression

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo - June 12th, 2012 - ANHRI denounced the escalation of both governments' campaigns against press and journalists lately. In South Sudan, security authorities suspended “al-Khabar”, an Arabic-language newspaper. Meanwhile the fierce campaigns of confiscation continue in Sudan, as “al-Intibahah” newspaper was confiscated on Monday 5/6/2012 and “al-Gareda” newspaper on 6/6/2012.

Yesterday, security authorities in South Sudan shut down “al-Khabar”, which had only published four issues, as repression against journalists and press freedom escalates. The suspension of the newspaper came in response to an article published by its editor, Mortada Jalal al-Din, titled “A Government that does not know its map is not worthy of ruling“, in which he criticized the government's decision to re-demarcate the map of the country after publishing a map a few days earlier that was condemned by some members of parliament.

What is interesting is how the authorities justified the confiscation to the editor, claiming the topic of the article cannot be talked about at the time being.

The security authorities in Sudan had earlier confiscated “al-Intibahaha” newspaper for publishing an article that criticized the al-Mo'tamar al-Watny ruling party (the ruling National Congress Party) for lifting subsidies on fuel. They also confiscated “al-Gareda” newspaper for the 13th time, without any justification.

ANHRI finds this fierce campaign against the press and journalists to be a serious violation of freedom of opinion and expression and a continuation of the campaign against opponents of the regimes in both states. This underlines the seriousness of the situation in northern and southern Sudan.

ANHRI demands that authorities in both states immediately stop cracking down on the Sudanese press and journalists.

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