Sudan bans newspaper, says editor

KHARTOUM - Sudan's security forces prevented an independent newspaper from publishing yesterday, the first day it had planned to resume work after a four-month ban, its editor said.

The country's constitution guarantees press freedom but journalists have complained of increasing pressure from authorities since South Sudan became independent in July.

Security agents came after midnight to the office of the daily al-Jarida to confiscate the entire Sunday edition, editor Osman Shinger said.

"We will protest against this. They didn't give us any reason," he said.

Yesterday was the first day the newspaper had planned to resume publication after winning approval from the National Press Council after its closure in September by security agents, he said.

The security agencies could not be immediately reached for comment.

Security forces closed down two Islamist newspapers, Alwan and al-Rai al-Shaab, in January, according to editors.

Sudanese journalists say they face pressure when reporting sensitive issues such as corruption or the severe economic crisis Sudan is undergoing.

One day before the independence of South Sudan, Khartoum suspended six newspapers because southerners were among their publishers or owners.

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