KHARTOUM (AFP) – Sudanese authorities on Sunday confiscated the newspaper of the opposition Popular Congress Party after the early-morning arrest of its Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi, a party official told AFP.
“After the arrest of the secretary general of the Popular Congress Party, security authorities stormed the printing house of the daily Rai al-Shaab and confiscated all copies of the paper,” Kamal Omar, head of the PCP’s politburo said.
“Authorities then took over the newspaper offices in central Khartoum and ordered all the journalists to leave,” he said.
The paper’s editor-in-chief was also arrested, he told AFP by telephone.
“At around 9:10 am (0610 GMT), a group of security and intelligence officials came to my house, put me in a car and took me to one of their offices,” Abuzerr Ali al-Amin said.
“They have not told me the reason for my detention and after two hours I have still not been questioned,” he said.
Turabi, an iconic Islamist leader who was once a mentor to President Omar al-Beshir before becoming one of his fiercest critics, was detained in the early hours of Sunday, party officials said.
His party had participated in the country’s general election last month but after the vote ended on April 15, Turabi denounced it as fraudulent and said his party would not join a future government.
Beshir was declared winner in Sudan’s first multi-party election since 1986, a vote marred by an opposition boycott, logistical problems and accusations of fraud.