Sudan security seizes Islamist newspaper: editor

Tue Nov 6, 2012 5:23am GMT

KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Sudanese security forces confiscated the edition of one of the country's oldest daily newspapers on Monday without giving a reason, its editor said, as authorities extended a crackdown on the media.

Sudanese journalists complain of frequent restrictions on press freedom, even though censorship was officially abolished in the Arab-African country in 2009.

The secession of South Sudan last year, an economic crisis that followed the loss of oil revenues and a series of small protests against government austerity measures earlier this year are all sensitive subjects, journalists say.

Hussein Khogali, editor of Alwan newspaper, said security agents confiscated the paper's Monday edition after it had finished printing, but did not say why.

"What happened today inflicted serious material losses on us, especially with the current economic conditions in Sudan, and we don't know why," he said.

Security agents informed the paper it could publish on Monday afternoon, but it was too late to get the edition out, Khogali said.

Sudanese officials were not immediately available to comment on the confiscation.

Alwan, seen as close to the country's Islamist movement, had been shut down in January this year.

Security forces also confiscated editions of two newspapers in September, editors said at the time.

Sudan ranked 170 out of 179 in a global press freedom index compiled by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders.

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