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Sudan: Newspaper Press

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the re-introduction of newspaper censorship in Sudan on citizens. (194237)

[holding answer 17 March 2008]: We are concerned by reports that the Government of Sudan may be reverting to newspaper censorship and that an increasing number of journalists have been detained or harassed by the authorities. This would run counter to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and Article 39 of the Interim National Constitution, which guarantees freedom of the media and unrestricted right to freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information. It is particularly important that citizens have freedom of access to information in the run-up to democratic elections in 2009. The UK, and our international partners, will continue to monitor press freedoms and promotion of a reformed press law in Sudan. We regularly raise human rights issues with the Government of Sudan in the EU-Sudan Human Rights dialogue, most recently in a meeting on 13 February.