Sudanese authorities have confiscated ten Arabic language novels displayed at the Khartoum International Book Fair, human rights groups have disclosed.
Six of the seized books were from Awrag Masriya, an Egyptian publishing house. The confiscated titles were Sira Qazira (Bad Moral) written by Mohammed Khair Abdalla Saaie Alryal Almagdood by Mubarak Ardol Asful Qaaa Almadi (The Bottom of the Downtown) by Ihab Adlan Bostan Alkhouf (The Garden of the Fears) by Asmaa Osman Al-Shaikh Souk Aldaara Almosanaaa (The Market of Artificial Prostitution) by Mohamed Badawi Mustafa and another novel by the latter author titled Hul Akhta Alsalaf’.
“The Sudanese authorities didn’t give us any explanation or reasons behind the confiscation campaign it committed against our publication,” complained Awrag Masriya in a statement.
”We consider this as a serious violation against the freedom of the expression in the country and we believe that these violations will weaken the Khartoum international book fair and force publishing houses not to participate in the fairs in a such a climate,” the statement went on.
For its part the local chapter of the Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)riticised the measures, saying that that four other books are still under security screening, and their distribution is awaits clearance from the authoritiesspan dir=”rtl” xml:lang=”AR-SA”.
According to JHR, such confiscations of books and publications has been a common practice over the years.
Meanwhile the Arab Alliance for Sudan and the Arab Network Media have also criticised the action, calling on the Sudanese authorities to lift the restrictions.
Both organisations have accused the Sudanese authorities of cracking down on cultural forums in the country, adding that the Sudanese authorities have closed down more than five cultural centres in the recent past.
The Sudanese authorities have not commented on the matter.
The Khartoum International Book Fair is an annual affair held in the Sudanese capital.
SOURCE: AFRICA REVIEW