SUDAN WATCH: Sudanese newspaper Ajrass Al-huriya: Khartoum media still subject to censorship

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sudanese newspaper Ajrass Al-huriya: Khartoum media still subject to censorship

From Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 17 August 2009:
Khartoum Media Still Subject to Censorship
(Khartoum) – The editor-in-chief of the Khartoum daily newspaper Ajrass Al-huriya, says that the media is still facing censorship by the security agents.

Dr. Murtada El-Ghali told Sudan Radio Service from Khartoum on Monday that media censorship of newspapers still exist, even after the endorsement of the new media law.

[Dr. Murtada El-Ghali]: “Who said the censorship has stopped? Sir, the censorship of papers has never stopped, before and after the new media law came into effect. This information should be corrected; many people think that the censorship had stopped for some time. It has never stopped, even after the the new media law was passed by the parliament, and even after the president of the republic had signed it.”

El-Ghali said that the reshuffling of the head of the security and intelligence in Sudan has no impact on the media so far.

[Dr. Murtada El-Ghali]: “The censorship is continuing, even after the reshuffling of the head of the security, it’s still there. I really don’t know whether they will be a new line from the security apparatus towards the papers particularly, and that's what concerns us, or this reshuffling a political act that we know nothing about? But what I can confirm is that the censorship is taking place every day between 8 to 11 pm.”

That was the editor-in-chief of Ajrass Al-huriya, Dr. Murtada El-Ghali, speaking to Sudan Radio Service from Khartoum.
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From Sudan Radio Service, Monday, 10 November 2008:
Khartoum Journalists Fight Press Censorship
(Khartoum) - Journalists from four daily newspapers in Khartoum are planning to demonstrate on Tuesday in front of the Constitutional Court.

They are protesting against what they called “intolerable censorship” by government security officials.

The editor-in-chief of the daily Arabic newspaper Ajrass Al-Hurriya, Dr. Murtada Al-Ghali, told Sudan Radio Service by phone from Khartoum on Sunday, that what he calls “continuous harassment and daily censorship by security agents” is making the publication of the newspapers virtually impossible.

Last week, journalists from three papers, Ajrass Al-Hurriya, Al-Midan, and Ray Al-Shaab, went on hunger strike for 24 hours to protest against the censorship of their papers by the authorities.

The three papers also suspended publication for three days last week.

Al-Ghali said that the papers have challenged the legality of the censorship in the Constitutional Court but although the court recognized their appeal, no action has been taken.

[Murtada Al-Ghali]: ”The censorship has become intolerable; it is preventing our journalists from doing their work. We brought the censorship issue to the court and our action was accepted but the censorship is still continuing. It’s getting worse; they confiscate our notes and articles without giving any reasons. And of course not all papers are treated in the same way.”

Al-Ghali said that staff from The Citizen, an English-language daily newspaper will also join their colleagues in their strike.

Ajrass Al-Hurriya, which means ”Bells of Freedom“ in English, is regularly accused by the government of being the voice of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM).

However Al-Ghali dismissed the allegation, claiming that his paper is independent and it is what he called the “voice of marginalized people in Sudan”.

Ajrass Al-Hurriaya was suspended by security agents more than ten times since the paper started publishing in April this year.

Of the two other papers participating in the strike, Al-Midan belongs to the Sudan Communist Party, while Ray Al-Shaab is owned by the Popular Congress Party.
Further reading
DR Congo: Several radio stations threatened with closure for retransmitting Radio France Internationale (RFI)
- Congo Watch, Monday, August 17, 2009.

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