'Significant increase' in state violence against Sudanese journalists
A government watchdog has reported a serious increase in threats and repressive behaviour by the Sudanese authorities toward journalists in late 2016.
The Sudanese Journalists Network recorded 38 newspaper seizures by police officers and the arrest of seven Sudanese journalists in its quarterly report on press freedom.
"Newspaper confiscation has been a common tactic used by authorities to cause huge financial loses for newspapers," the report reads.
"This quarter a new trend by authorities was seen with newspapers being suspended for three days in a row instead of one day."
Between October and December 2016, the authorities reportedly confiscated 11 print-runs for the newspaper al-Jareeda, 5 print-runs for al-Tayar and 4 print-runs for the newspaper al-Watan.
The report describes in detail the circumstances surrounding the arbitrary arrest and subsequent mistreatment of many Sudanese journalists. including Mohammad al-Amin Abdulaziz, the associate-editor of the newspaper, al-Jareeda.
|National discontent bubbled over in November after the government voted to cut subsidies across the country, causing inflation and big price rises.|
"Eyewitnesses said he was beaten [by the police] and later arrested. No reasons were given for the arrest."
The report also references the on-going trial of Mohamed al-Fateh, a journalist at al-Midan, who was arrested after he published a story about corruption in national land sales.
National discontent bubbled over in November after the government voted to cut subsidies across the country, causing inflation and big price rises.
Newspapers which published this information were frequently threatened by security agents after Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir promised to stamp out any and all dissent.
In September 2015, all copies of al-Khartoum and al-Sudani newspapers were confiscated after they reported critical stories about water poisoning in the country's south.
The country regularly ranks near the bottom of international press freedom indexes.It ranked 174 out of 178 countries on Reporters Without Borders' 2016 international press freedom index.