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Authorities censor Sudan’s largest newspaper

Omar-Al-Bashir

Sudanese authorities today forced the country’s largest daily to stop printing

Omar-Al-BashirKhartoum: Sudanese authorities today forced the country’s largest daily to stop printing after several dailies came under pressure to depict demonstrators in weeklong protests against longtime autocratic President Omar al-Bashir as “saboteurs.”

The latest blow to freedom of the press in the authoritarian state comes as Sudan’s experiences its largest street demonstrations since al-Bashir took power 24 years ago.

Protests started after the government lifted food and fuel subsidies, sparking anger in a country where nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line.

Public discontent had been growing over failed economic and political policies that led South Sudan to break off and became an independent state in 2011, taking Sudan’s main oil-producing territory with it.

Critics also blamed al-Bashir for draining the country’s coffers by funding rebel movements in rival countries.

The crackdown on thousands of protesters has been violent, leaving at least 50 protesters dead according to international rights groups. Doctors and activists put the death toll higher, telling The Associated Press that it is more than 100.

The government has acknowledged some 33 killed, including policemen.

Despite its heavy-handed crackdown, the government sought to appease a frustrated public on Sunday, announcing cash compensation to make up for the higher prices and raising minimum wage.

AP

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