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Sudan security agents arrest journalist: family

October 23, 2014

Sudanese security forces arrested a journalist for the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat in Khartoum Thursday, his family said, unaware of the reasons for his detention.

Agents from the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) arrested Al-Nur Ahmad al-Nur, a Sudanese reporter for Al-Hayat, at around 6:00 pm (1500 GMT) on the central Mek Nimir street.

His brother, Muntasir Ahmad al-Nur, said he received a text from him that read: “I am arrested and I am with security in Khartoum North now”.

When he tried to call his brother, he found that his telephone had been switched off. His family said they did not know the reason for his arrest.

The Sudanese Journalists’ Union urged the “security authorities to immediately release Nur or send him to court in accordance with press law” to face charges, in a statement late Thursday.

The detained journalist was also working as an editorial adviser for the Al-Tigheer daily, the statement said.

The NISS forced Nur to resign from another Sudanese newspaper where he was chief editor last July, without giving a reason.

Last month, NISS agents arrested Abdul Rahman al-Ajib, a journalist for Sudan’s Al-Yom al-Tali daily and held him for three weeks without charge.

And in July, armed men raided the offices of the Al-Tayar newspaper in Khartoum and severely beat its chief editor, days after he had called for the normalisation of relations with Israel.

The violence was an unusual physical attack against a journalist, and police said “unidentified persons” carried out the assault.

Sudan ranked near the bottom, at 172 out of 180, in the Reporters Without Borders 2014 World Press Freedom Index.

Dispatches from AFP concerning freedom of information, censorship and news coverage in regions where independent media is under threat.