Sudan authorities seize newspapers after bread price rise criticism

A Sudanese man works at a bakery in the capital Khartoum on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 07 January 2018
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Sudan authorities seize newspapers after bread price rise criticism

KHARTOUM: Sudanese security agents on Sunday seized all copies of six newspapers after they criticized the government over soaring bread prices that have almost doubled this week, editors said.
Discontent has been simmering over the past few days as bread prices jumped on the back of a sharp rise in the cost of flour after a government decision to shift importing of wheat to private sector companies.
Several newspapers have criticized the decision concerning wheat imports, while the country’s opposition groups called for nationwide demonstrations against the price rise.
On Sunday, members of the powerful National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) confiscated entire print runs of Al-Tayar, Al-Mustagilla, Al-Karar, Al-Midan, Al-Assayha and Akhbar Al-Watan newspapers.
Akhbar Al-Watan and Al-Midan are mouthpieces of opposition Sudanese Congress Party and the Communist Party, while the other four newspapers are independent journals that often report criticism of the government.
“No reason was given for confiscating copies of our newspaper but I think it was due to our transparent coverage of the food price rise,” said Hanadi Al-Sidiq, editor of Akhbar Al-Watan.
Editors of other newspapers also confirmed to AFP that NISS agents had confiscated the entire print runs of their Sunday editions.
Media in Sudan are frequently targeted for their reporting. The country regularly ranks near the bottom of international press freedom rankings.
An opposition group said its members were also targeted after the call for nationwide demonstrations against the price rise.
Two senior leaders of the opposition Sudanese Congress Party have been detained by NISS agents, the party said in a statement.
On Saturday, police fired tear gas at groups of students protesting the price rise in the central Sudanese town of Sennar, witnesses told AFP.
Sudan witnessed sporadic protests in late 2016 after a government decision to cut fuel subsidies.
The authorities cracked down on those protests in an attempt to prevent a repeat of deadly unrest that followed a similar round of subsidy cuts in 2013.
Dozens of people were killed in 2013 protests when security forces crushed large street demonstrations, drawing international condemnation.


Counter-protesters drown out white supremacist rally in Ohio

Updated 26 May 2019
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Counter-protesters drown out white supremacist rally in Ohio

  • Nine people from a group called the Honorable Sacred Knights showed up for a rally
  • They were met by 500 to 600 counter-protesters and over 350 anti-riot police

WASHINGTON: Less than a dozen people affiliated with the Ku Klux Klan white supremacist group were drowned out by hundreds of counter-protesters Saturday at a rally in the midwestern US state of Ohio, authorities and local media said.
The event ended peacefully without injuries or arrests, the city government of Dayton, Ohio, said in a statement on Facebook.
Nine people from a group called the Honorable Sacred Knights showed up for a rally they’d obtained a permit to hold in Dayton’s Courthouse Square. They were met by 500 to 600 counter-protesters, city officials said.
The counter-protesters chanted, sang and played various instruments to drown out the racist demonstrators, who had gathered behind a tall metal fence under tight police security, local media reports said.
More than 350 law enforcement officers were on hand amid fears of violence.
In 2017, a woman was killed at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
President Donald Trump sparked outrage in its aftermath after claiming there were good people “on both sides” at the rally.