Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2018, 14:34 GMT

Sudan: Newspaper bans violate free expression

Publisher Article 19
Publication Date 7 June 2013
Cite as Article 19, Sudan: Newspaper bans violate free expression, 7 June 2013, available at: [accessed 19 February 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

ARTICLE 19 condemns the forced closure of four newspapers by the Sudanese government. The publications have been shut down on the grounds of national security concerns, after reporting on the ongoing conflict in the country between the Sudanese Revolutionary Front (SRF) and the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF).

"The closure of these newspapers clearly violates the right to freedom of expression and it denies the people of Sudan information of vital public importance. The Government of Sudan has become increasingly aggressive towards those who publish reports and opinions that are either critical of the authorities or present them in a negative light" said Henry Maina, Director ARTICLE 19 Eastern Africa.

"Sudan is among the worst countries in the world when it comes to press freedom. This crackdown only reinforces how the government seeks to control reporting in the country. This crackdown must end" added Maina.

Sources indicate that National Intelligence Security Services ordered the Almidan, Almijhar, Alintibaha and Al-Mashad newspapers to cease operations yesterday.

The order comes just two weeks after Sudan's president, Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, issued a decision announcing an end to media censorship. In his announcement of May 2013, he stated that direct pre-publication censorship on newspapers was lifted.

One journalist, Khalid Ahmed, is understood to have been arrested over a report concerning a visit by top military officials to South Kordofan in Sudan. Ahmed is a journalist with Al-Sudan, a privately owned newspaper.

ARTICLE 19 finds the closure of these newspapers to be a violation of international standards that protect the right to freedom of expression. Reports about the internal conflict in Sudan are a matter of public importance, which should not be restricted.

ARTICLE 19 calls on the Sudanese Government to immediately lift the ban preventing the four newspapers from working.

ARTICLE 19 also urges the Sudanese Government to reform media regulation in the country in order to respect the right to freedom of expression by promoting an environment where a free and independent media can report without fear of interference from the state.

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