Stolen shoes land Sudanese media in trouble

From RAJI BASHIR in Khartoum, Sudan
KHARTOUM, (CAJ News) – SUDANESE authorities have come under harsh criticism for fining a journalist who challenged police to invest rampant crimes such as corruption instead of petty offences.
Suheir Abdelrahim, of the daily paper, Al-Tayyar, has been fined US$450 (about R$6 000) for a column in which he criticised the police for focusing on the theft of shoes from a mosque instead of investigating graft and theft of public property.
The newspaper was fined almost double the amount.
Separately, the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service have reportedly confiscated all copies of another daily newspaper, Al-Saiha, this week for its coverage of tensions between military leaders and President Omar al-Bashir.
Al-Bashir runs the country with an iron fist and has been declared wanted to answer to genocide charges at the International Criminal Court.
In recent years, the security service has confiscated entire print runs when a paper publishes content it disapproves of, as a way to censor the news and forces publications to incur significant financial losses.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) expressed alarm at the harassment of the media in the East African country.
“Journalists should be free to report and comment critically on matters of public interest, without fear of harassment or legal action,” Sherif Mansour, CPJ regional coordinator said.
– CAJ News

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