Sudanese Authorities Shut Down Independent Newspaper

Posted January 13th, 2012 at 7:50 am (UTC-5)
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The editor of an independent newspaper in Sudan says authorities have shut down the publication, the latest sign of a media crackdown by Sudan's government.

The editor of the newspaper al-Wan said Friday that security personnel informed his staff of the decision. He said government agents have occupied the building where the newspaper is located.

Sudanese authorities have moved against the media on several occasions, despite a constitution that calls for a free press.

Earlier this month, officials shut down Rai al-Shaab, the newspaper of the opposition Popular Congress Party.

Last year, several newspapers were ordered closed when the country was split and South Sudan became an independent nation.

Also last year, a Sudanese court sentenced two journalists to a month in prison for writing about the alleged rape of a political activist by Sudanese security forces.

A top U.N. official criticized those sentences, saying “rapists, not reporters, must face criminal charges.”