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Security forces seize copies of "Al-Jarida" and "Al-Midan" newspapers

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 5 September 2011 - ANHRI condemns the intransigence of the Sudanese authorities and their ongoing targeting of journalistic freedoms. This practice is aimed at muzzling opinions and inflicting heavy financial losses upon newspaper publishers.

Sudanese security forces seized copies of the "Al-Jarida" and "Al-Midan" newspapers early in the morning of Sunday 4 September 2011, and prevented them from being distributed after they had been printed. As usual, the authorities did not provide any explanation for the confiscation.

In a 6 September statement, "Al-Jarida" said that the police harassment and continuing confiscations are linked to a recent initiative by the paper, whereby it invited past contributors to "Ajras Al-Hurriya" newspaper to share their writings. The Sudanese authorities did not approve of this initiative, and as a result they have seized copies of the paper four times in the past two months.

It is worth noting that the authorities cancelled the license of six newspapers in July, including "Ajras Al-Hurriya", under the pretext that some of the papers' owners no longer have the right to issue newspapers in the North because they are now South Sudanese. All these repressive practices suggest that a recent decision by President Al-Bashir to release all detained journalists was only a propaganda tactic by a regime that publicly targets journalism.

"The Sudanese authorities do not respect freedom of opinion and expression at all. They perceive journalism and journalists as an enemy, and practice all sorts of repression and obstinacy in order to muzzle other opinions. Subsequently, there is no room to believe any promises or concealing statements by a repressive regime. Hence, we call on organizations concerned with human rights to strongly pressure the Sudanese authorities in order to ensure journalistic freedoms," said ANHRI.

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