Deputy Editor Al-Amin and reporters Abu Jawhara and Abdelaziz were arrested when Sudanese security forces raided Rai al-Shaab’s offices in Khartoum, confiscating documents and equipment, according to news reports. Authorities closed the newspaper, which was owned by the opposition Popular Congress Party.
The editor-in-chief, Yassin Omar al-Imam, told CPJ that the raid came shortly after the daily published an article claiming that Iran had constructed a weapons factory in Sudan intended to supply Islamist insurgents in Africa and the Middle East. The report has not been independently corroborated.
In July, a criminal court in Khartoum sentenced al-Amin to five years in prison, and Abdelaziz and Abu Jawhara to two years apiece, according to their lawyer, Abdelomneim Osman Idriss. He said the journalists had been convicted of “undermining the constitutional system” and “publishing false information.” The three were being held in Kober Prison in Khartoum, a facility notorious for abusive treatment of inmates.