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Authorities shut down three newspapers

(ANHRI/IFEX) - On 8 July 2010, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned a 7 July decision by the Sudanese security authorities to close the "Alentebaha" newspaper for an indefinite period of time. The newspaper had urged Sudanese citizens to vote in the upcoming referendum on the independence of southern Sudan and the separation between the north and south.

The move to close "Alentebaha" comes shortly after the return of security oversight of newspapers in the country. The security controls had been removed in September 2009. The "Al Tayar" and "Al Ahdath" newspapers have also been closed down. These closures are contrary to the Sudanese constitution, which prohibits the closure of newspapers by administrative decisions, requiring instead that such decisions be made by the judiciary.

ANHRI said, "The increasing trend towards the closing down of newspapers in Sudan, which is contrary to the Sudanese constitution and international treaties, and the return of security oversight for newspapers, have become major threats to the Sudanese press and scandalous violations of press freedom by the government of Sudan."

ANHRI stated that it deeply regrets that the Sudanese government deceived the public when it lifted newspaper censorship during the election period, but then imposed heavy-handed controls on the press to silence voices that condemned the flawed elections won by the Sudanese president.
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