Sudan security agents 'seize newspaper' amid censorship claims

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Security agents confiscated the entire print run of a Sudanese daily newspaper, a senior editor said on Tuesday, adding to concerns about the role of the intelligence service in press censorship.

A member of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) took all the copies of Al-Ahram Al-Youm's Tuesday edition and said they were banned from distribution, the paper's managing editor, Bokhari Bashir, told AFP.

The officer gave no reason, he said.

"I think it might be a punishment for something that we published before and they are not accepting it," Bashir added.

The paper has generally adopted a stance supportive of the government.

Paris-based watchdog Reporters Without Borders said there have been two other newspaper seizures this year, after more than 20 in 2012.

The tactic causes financial losses in an industry already struggling for revenue and which, journalists say, faces pre-publication censorship from the NISS.

Some newspapers have been completely banned from publishing.

On Sunday the government-run press council, which licenses newspapers, accused the NISS of interference and called on authorities to disband the media body if it cannot function.

The highly-unusual call came after NISS suspended the chief editor of respected daily Al-Sahafa.

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