Sudanese al-Tayar Newspaper's Journalists
Journalists at the Sudanese al-Tayar newspaper which was banned from publishing 80 days ago held a meeting on Wednesday to discuss their situation.
They plan to file a memorandum to the Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the parliament and politicians to lift the financial and professional harm resulting from the banning of the newspaper. The owner and editor-in-chief of the newspaper denied plans to lay off newspaper employees.
Othman Mirghani, owner and editor-in-chief of the newspaper, said in a statement to Arabstoday that authorities have not informed him of the reasons for the ban and denied plans to lay off journalist employees and described leaks in some newspapers as: “An investment in the crisis and attempt to flare out the issue and hit the newspaper.”
Some Sudanese newspapers mentioned earlier that the owner and editor-in-chief of the al-Tayar newspaper is considering laying off his assisting journalists. The ban came after as the paper was tackling corruption cases in some government corporations on its pages. Authorities declared, however, that they: “Had knowledge of the issues tackled in the newspaper."
Speaking to Arabstoday about the newspaper bans, Sudanese journalist Muzamel Suleiman Ahmed said that they are linked to security laws and personal whims and referred to another newspaper, al-Itibaha which he alleges to practice: “Actions that harm the country and its higher interests, attacks whoever it wants to and no one can stop it. The cases tackled in the newspaper have unacceptable transgressions.”
“I think the Journalists’ Union of which I am a member, has fallen very short of its duties and responsibilities toward the press and journalists. It completely disregarded the challenges facing journalism in Sudan to speak about marginal, distracting issues, keeping in mind that the Sudanese press is one of the oldest journalism practices on the Arab level regarding their practices and commitment to regulations and conventions. Since the '30s Sudanese journalism was a pioneer of enlightenment and knowledge but it’s now in its weakest conditions. Many newspapers are issued, and everyday we hear about a new newspaper but it no sooner stops or falls. Going back to al-Tayar, I read it from among the newspapers and feel that it tackles issues on the scene with transparency and honesty. Yet sadly enough, it seems that the newspaper got in the way of others’ interests and so they tried to stop it and succeeded in their efforts.”
Ahmed added that: “I think the Sudanese Press Council, lead by former information minister and media expert Prof Ali Shomou, needs to reconsider the conditions facing the press and journalists. Al-Tayar has gone, al-Ahdath before it, and al-Akhbar before them which were all regrettably newspapers that proved their presence while the scene awaits the fall of more Sudanese newspapers.”
Journalist al-Hadi Ahmed al-Awad said: “The whole issue has to deal with intersecting responsibilities of the concerned departments like the press law and the security law. The issue needs a legislative treatment that determines first who is responsible for questioning newspapers. So I think banning al-Tayar newspaper is a price of this intersection and it won’t be the first or last time if things continue as they are now.”