Sudanese Security Seize Print Runs of at Least Nine Newspapers

Sudanese security officers seized printed editions of at least nine newspapers, a week before President Umar al-Bashir is sworn in after his re-election.

Authorities “delayed the distribution of 10 printed newspapers as they contain inaccurate information and statistics” on sexual harassment of children in schools, Mohamed Tabeidy, head of media at the National Intelligence and Security Service, said by phone from the capital, Khartoum.

“Some of these papers won’t be allowed to be issued again,” he said

Journalists for Human Rights said in an e-mailed statement that nine publications had editions confiscated, including al-Intibaha, the North African nation’s biggest-selling newspaper. In February, JHR said authorities seized 13 editions in Sudan’s biggest-ever such clampdown.

Sudan is ranked 174 out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ press freedom index for 2015. The Paris-based watchdog’s summary for last year cited seizures of newspapers that didn’t satisfy censors as well as arbitrary detentions of journalists.

Al-Bashir, who won with 94 percent of the vote in April elections, will be inaugurated on June 2.

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