September 7, 2017 (KHARTOUM) – The National Council for Press and Publications (NCPP) in Sudan Thursday suspended “Akhir-lahza” newspaper for three days, while the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) reminded newspapers the ban on interviews with rebel leaders.
Editor In Chief of Akhir-lahza Abdel-Azim Saleh told Sudan Tribune he appeared Thursday before the NCPP’s Complaints Committee, a governmental body, to respond to a complaint lodged by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers
Saleh said the minister accused one of their columnists Abdallah al-Sheikh of insulting the Government of Sudan in an article in which he demanded the government to pay compensation for victims of al Qaeda’s deadly 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.
A U.S. federal court in Washington in 2012 issued a default judgment which awarded US$314.7 million to 15 sailors and three spouses.
Sudan and the United States asked the court to reconsider the ruling which could interfere with international treaties. But the judges refused. The money must, therefore, be released.
The three-day ban will be effective on Friday and will continue until Sunday.
Akhir-lahza newspaper is owned by Hajj Atta al-Manan, a known Sudanese Islamist.
Saleh defended the incriminated article stating it deals with a public opinion issue without causing any abuse to any party. He added it would be more useful to prosecute the press before the judiciary.
He further said the NISS confiscated the newspaper because of the same article, at the same time there a judicial complaint has been filed under the Criminal Code.
INTERVIEW WITH REBEL LEADERS
In a separate development, the NISS issued a directive to the editors in chief of the local newspapers reminding them that the ban on publishing any interview or statements by the leaders of the armed groups is still in force.
The directive comes after the publication of an interview with Abdel Aziz al-Hilu, the leader of a Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – North (SPLM-N) group by Al-Tayyar newspaper on Thursday.
On Thursday morning, the NISS summoned the editor-in-chief of Al-Tayyar, Bahaa al-Din Issa, who was interrogated about the interview during three hours.