ISSN: 20010818
First published in 2012
3 issues per volume
Volume 6 Issue 2
Cover Date: June 2017
Watching over the watchdogs: Triangulation of press punishment in Sudan
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Authors:  Mahmoud M. Galander 
DOI: 10.1386/ajms.6.2.375_1

Keywords
triangulation of punishment,press council,press punishment,press court,Sudan press laws,Sudan press council,Tripartite source of punishment

Abstract
Few countries have experienced the ordeal that the Sudanese press has lived through. Since independence in the mid-1950s of the last century, democratic and authoritarian regimes have been ‘watching over’ the press through an assortment of councils, committees, ordinances, laws and/or ‘revolutionary measures’. Under all governments, newspapers were suspended, closed down, confiscated and/or nationalized. The current political regime is, however, unique in its antagonistic treatment of the press as it has, since its takeover of power through a coup in 1989, shown an adversarial attitude of suspicion and distrust of the independent press and the working journalists. Using Steven Lukes’ theoretical interpretation of a three-dimensional power, the article assesses the punitive role of press councils, security bureaus and courts in stifling the ‘free press’ system in Sudan, and highlights the evolutionary nature of press control mechanisms in the country. The current regime is given more emphasis, not only because it has reigned longer but also because it manifests the characteristics of both a military and a liberal political system. This remarkable detachment from the ordinary classification of either authoritarian or liberalitarian political systems underlines the major thesis of this article that authoritarian regimes abuse press freedom by adopting and adapting some features of a free press system.
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