July 17, 2013 / 5:37 PM / 4 years ago

Sudan state security bans second newspaper in a month

KHARTOUM, July 17 (Reuters) - Sudan's security services have banned a newspaper known for its independent stance, its editor said on Wednesday, the second paper to be shut down by the authorities in a month.

Sudan's constitution is supposed to guarantee press freedom but the government can be quick to censor independent or even pro-government media if they question its policies or single out senior officials for blame.

"I got a phone call from the security services at noon informing me that we have to stop publishing and that they would start legal action against us," said Muzamil Abu al-Gassim, editor of the al-Youm al-Tali daily. "They gave us no reason."

State security officials were not available to comment.

Al-Youm al-Tali and Communist newspaper al-Midan, which was banned last month, are among a handful of newspapers that have dared print occasional criticism of the government. Most others carry mainly official statements and their front pages often look identical as security agents telephone editors to "coordinate" coverage plans, journalists say. (Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; writing by Ulf Laessing; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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