Altaghyeer: Khartoum: On Sunday security authorities demanded Sudanese newspapers’ editors-in-chief fill personal information forms that included family members, which reportedly contained “racist questions”.
Security authorities labeled the form “Newspapers’ editors-in-chief form” while stressing on discretion by writing “Strictly confidential” ,on top of the first page of the six-page form, in addition to requesting the attachment of a recent photo.
Information included a question about the editor-in-chief ethnicity, their skin color ,and whether they were active on a tribal, security or military basis.
Editors-in-chief disapproved of the security and military lines of question, and regarded them criminalizing.
The editors-in-chief forms came a week after they signed a journalist code of ethics, requested by security authorities in a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister Mutaz Musa, parliament speaker Ibrahim Ahmed Omer ,and head of security Salah Gosh.
Security authorities also demanded editors-in-chief provide information regarding spouses, full names and addresses, phone numbers, political affiliation , and whether they were engaged in activism or not.
Forms also contained questions about family and friends, and their political leanings, any figures or events that had an impact on the journalist. And on the last page of the form authorities requested the provision of a chart , illustrating the journalist’s home and the shortest way to reach them.
Currently the press endures harsh conditions due to violation of free speech, by the government as security authorities impose longstanding post-oversight measures on newspapers, which are frequently confiscated.
Around the beginning of this year security authorities arrested a number of journalists ,during their coverage of protests against high costs of living, including reporters working for Reuters and AFP News, who remained in custody for more than a month before being released without trial.
It is worth noting that the organization for Journalists without borders, ranks Sudan among the worst ten countries in the region with regard to press freedom.