Sudanese newspaper suspended

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has protested at the suspension of of the Sudanese daily newspaper, al-Intibaha. Last week the paper received a phone call from the Security and National Intelligence Service saying it had been suspended indefinitely and its latest edition would be confiscated.

Al-Intibaha has been accused of "strengthening separatist tendencies in the south and the north". Robert Mahoney of the CPJ said: "This suspension is clearly intended to silence any potential critics ahead of next year’s referendum."

The CPJ notes: "The atmosphere in Sudan is heated ahead of a referendum scheduled for January 2011 that will determine whether the south will separate from the rest of the country. Sudanese authorities have intensified a crackdown on journalists and critical newspapers in recent months as a result."

In an article for Comment Is Free, Nesrine Malik discusses the paper's suspension in the context of the referendum scheduled for next year on north-south separation. She ends on a sceptical note, suggesting the referendum may not actually take place.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 13 July 2010.