Al-Tayar Newspaper was shut down Feb. 21 on charges of “jeopardizing national security,” according to a Sudan Tribune report. Sudan’s National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) Director-General, Mohamed Atta issued the order which suspended the daily publication pending further legal proceedings.
The Sudan Tribune postulates that the closure might have resulted from a commentary that accused President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir of corruption and criticized the president for excusing corruption of other government officials. One statement in the commentary by retired university professor Mohamed Zain Al Abdeen likely set off the security agency. Al Abdeen warned Al-Bashir that “his control of the army will not protect him from popular uprisings,” The Sudan Tribune wrote.
The day before the shutdown of Al-Tear, security agents "seized the entire run of the paper's Feb. 20 edition as well as Al-Youm Al-Tali newspapers.
Seizures were said to be the result of the newspapers printing comments made by Islamist opposition party leader Hassan al-Turabi during a Feb. 19 press conference. Turabi, head of the Popular Congress Party (PCP), accused the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) of wiretapping his office and exhibited two listening devices he said were retrieved from Popular Congress Party offices.
Turabi lambasted National Intelligence and Security Services asking: “What is left for them to do? Was it not enough that they have already imprisoned us and closed down our newspaper? We did not expect that they would go as far as invading the privacy of our offices, houses and cars," according to AllAfrica.com.
Al-Tayar editor Osman Murghni told Reuters that security agents gave no explanation for the seizure, but he thought the paper’s coverage of a corruption scandal at a government-owned company might have sparked the raid.
Two other Sudanese newspapers have been shut down since the start of the year.
Ra’y al-Sha’b Newspaper, dubbed the “mouthpiece” of the Popular Congress Party by AllAfrica.com, was shutdown this year on Jan. 2. Just like Al-Tayar, the shutdown of Ra’y al-Sha’b came a day after security officers confiscated the 15,000 copies of the Jan. 2, 2012 edition.
Alwan Newspaper, also thought of as sympathetic to the Popular Congress Party, was closed on Jan. 13.