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Sudan court overturns spy agency's ban on newspaper

Powerful National Intelligence and Security Service banned al-Tayar newspaper after it published editorials criticising subsidy cuts
Sudan ranks among the world's lowest in press freedom indexes, with the government frequently shutting down critical outlets (AFP)

Sudan's highest court has allowed a leading newspaper to resume publishing, nearly five months after the authorities banned it from printing, the newspaper's editor said on Monday.

Sudan's powerful National Intelligence and Security Service had suspended the independent al-Tayar newspaper in December after it published a series of editorials criticising the government over subsidy cuts on fuel and electricity.

The newspaper challenged the decision in the country's Constitutional Court, which ordered that the ban on the daily be lifted.

"We will resume publishing in the coming days as we have the court's order," al-Tayar's editor-in-chief Osman Merghani told the AFP news agency.

The newspaper's lawyer Nabil Adeeb confirmed the order.

Court officials were not immediately available to comment on the decision.

Al-Tayar was banned along with another newspaper, al-Jarida, in May 2015 over reports that it had published articles about child abuse.

The publications were later allowed to resume printing, but al-Tayar was banned again in December.

Security agents frequently seize the entire print runs of newspapers over articles they deem inappropriate.

Journalists in Sudan complain of harassment, and the country regularly ranks near the bottom of world press freedom indexes.