The Press and Printed Materials Act

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  • Country: Sudan
  • Language: English
  • Document Type: Domestic Law or Regulation
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In the Name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful
The Press and Press Printed Materials Act, 200 9

Be it hereby approved , by the National Assembly, a ssented to , and signed by
President of the Republic in accordance with the pr ovisions of the Interim
National Constitution of the Republic of the Suda n, 2005, the following Act:-

Chapter I
Preliminary Provisions

Title and commencement

1. This Act may be cited as the, “Press and Press Printed Materials Act,
2008 ”, and shall come into force, as of the date of signature .

Repeal and saving
2. The Press and Press Printed Materials Act, 2004, shall be repealed;
provided that all the procedure, regulations and or ders, made thereunder
shall remain in force, until revoked, or amended u nder the provisions of
this Act.

3. The provisions of this Act shall apply to all th e procedure, which are not
complete, upon the commencement thereof, and likewi se they shall
apply to the completed procedure, at such date; on condition of
rectification of the conditions of the press instit utions, and the other
means of producing newspapers, in accordance with t he provisions of
this Act, within a period, not exceeding ninety day s, of the date of
coming into force thereof.

4. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requir es, :-
“Academic institutions”, mean any academic, or re search organ;
“Act”, means the Press and Press Printed Materials Act, 2008;
“Council”, means the Press and Press Printed Materials National Council, established
under the provisions of this Act;
“Court”, means the competent court, established under the provisions of this Act;
“Distribution house”, means any body working in th e
distribution and sale of newspapers and
press printed materials;
“Government unit”, means any Government administrat ive,
or functional organ, or company the
majority of shares of which are owned by
the State;
“Journalist”, means every person, who practises
journalism as a profession, and is
registered with the Council, in
accordance with the provisions of this
“Minister”, means the Minister of Info rmation and
“Ministry” , means the Ministry of Information and
“Newspaper”, means any surface bearing a writing, o r
recording, which is periodically
published, for public perusal, legally
licensed, and does not include a wall
exhibit, an academic , or specialized

periodical, which is issued by a social
association, academic institution or
Government unit;
“Press company”, means the company licensed to issu e
newspapers, in accordance with this Act;
“Press profession”, means the profession of prepari ng
newspapers and printed materials, and
editing, issue and distribution of the
same, by any means ;
“Printed material”, means any means of press public ation,
wherein are recorded views, words or
meanings, by any of the forms;
“Printing press”, means any instrument, or machine for
the production of a newspaper, or press
printed material;
“Publicity agencies”, mean any office practising ad vertisement
and publicity business, and production
of the materials thereof, and publishing ,
or transmission of the same by any
“Publisher”, means the proprietor of the press institution, or company;
“Social association”, means any social organization ,
registered, or permitted, in accordance
with the law;
“Services centres”, mean any institution, or facili ty working
in the field of producing press materials,
or distributing the same.

Basic Principles
Press and Journalists freedom

5. Without affecting the public order and morals , the Press shall practise :-
(a) the tasks thereof freely and i ndependently and aim at the
development of the society , welfare of the nation and citizens
thereof , and abide by the protection of privacy , honor and safety
of its individuals and security of the society;
(b) no prohibitation shall be on the Press , save in the cases which
are specified by the Constitution and the law;
(c) the newspapers shall not be subject to confisca tion , nor their
quarters shall be closed , save in accordance with the law;
(d) no publisher or journalist shal l be confined or detained , in the
matters relating to the practice of his / her profe ssion , otherwise
than the cases which the law specifies .

Chapter II
The Council

Establishment, seat and

supervision of the Council

6. (1) There shall be established a council, to be known as the, “Press and
Press Printed Materials National Council”, having corporate personality,
a common seal and the right to litigate in its own name .
(2) The seat of the Council shall be in Khartoum.
(3) The Council shall be independent in performing its business and in the
budget thereof.
(4) The Council shall be under the patronship and s upervision of the
Presidency and it may in the same :- (a) notify the Council of the general policies of t he State prescribed
in its strategies, with respect to the press profe ssion;
(b) require information and reports, from the Counc il;

(c) receive the recommendations and proposals, from the Council ,
with respect to the business thereof .

Functions of the Council
7. The Council shall have competence on the follo wing, to:-
(a) supervise the general performance of press inst itutions and
companies , press publication houses, press printin g
presses, press services centres and news agencies , and
review the performance of the same;
(b) help to provide the requisites of the press ind ustry and press
printing, and remove such impediments, as may face the
(c) ensure the appropriate minimum limit of wages of journalists
and employees of press institutions;
(d) co-operate, and exchange expertise with the sim ilar councils
and organs, in the other states;
(e) supervise training journalists, in co-ordinatio n with the press
(f) implement the general policies of the press an d press
printed materials , being guided by the general dir ectives of
the Constitution;
(g) strive to promote the press profession, and rai se the
professional standard of the employees thereof; and abide by
the morals of press profession;
(h) authenticate the Sudanese Press and printed mat erials
(i) consider any contravention of the provisions of this Act ,
unless provided for within the functions of the com petent
Powers of the Council
8. The Council shall have the following powers, to :-

(a) receive a written notification fr om the newspapers for the
purpose of licensing. The notification shall contai n the name ,
nationality, and place of residence of the newspape r proprietor
and language of publication of the same ; the name and
address of the editor in chief and address of the p ublisher;
(b) permit the publishing and distri bution houses and press
services centres;
(c) grant the licences to press com panies and institutions, news
papers, press printing presses, press publication a nd
distribution houses, and services centres;
(d) tender the necessary aid for p rogress of the work and activity
of the press institution;
(e) constitute subsidiary speciali zed committees and organize
the business thereof;
(f) validate foreign newspapers off ices, and press agencies, and
open a roll for the correspondents thereof , withou t affecting
the functions of the Ministry;
(g) consider the complaints, present ed by those aggrieved by the
publication of press materials;
(h) contribute to settle the dispu tes inside the press community,
without affecting the powers, set out in the basic rules of the
Journalists General Union;
(i) establish a general secretariate for the Council, appoint the
employees thereof and specify the terms of service of the
(J) delegate any of the powers thereo f to the Chairperson or
Secretary-General of the same, combined; provided that their
decisions, under the delegation, shall be submitted to the
Council , at the first meeting thereof, for approva l, or rejection
(k) inflict the sanctions provided for in this Act;

(i) verify the extent of spreading of newspapers and press printed
(m) form the subsidiary offices in th e states , without affecting the
exclusive powers of the Government of Southern Suda n, and
delegate, to the same , any of the powers thereof;
(n) suspend the newspaper, or publicat ion house, in case of their
contravention of any of the conditions of licence.

Constitution ,composition and term of the Council

9.(1) The President of the Republic shall constitut e the Press and Press
Printed Materials Council , provided that due regar d in its composition
shall be had to represent journalists , publishers, printing presses
proprietors, natural personalities and women , toge ther with taking into
consideration in the constitution of the same , the cultural, religions ,
ethnic and intellectual diversity.
(2) Without affecting the provisions of sub- secti on(1), above , the Council
shall be composed of twenty one members as follows :-
(a) eight members , to be appointed by the Presi dent of the Republic,
in consultation with the First- Vice President, fr om those who are
witnessed to be of independence , propriety and neu trality, from
those possessed of competence and expertise in the press and
printed materials field;
(b) eight members, representing journalists, to b e elected by the
general assembly of the Journalists General Union , and the result
shall be approved by the Work Organizations Registr ar General;
(c) five members , to be elected by the publish ers and press printing
presses proprietors.
(3) The term of session of the Council shall be fou r years.

The Council
10. The Organs of the Council shall consist of:-
(a) the Council’s Association;
(b) the General Secretariate;
(c ) the Specialized Committees .
The Council’s Association
11. The Council’s Association shall, consist of th e Chairperson , his/ her
deputy, the Secretary-General and chairpersons of t he Specialized
Committees, and shall have competence on the follow ing, to :-
(a) organize the business of the Council;
(b) co-ordinate between the Council and the Special ized
(c) propose the internal regulations;
(d) any other tasks , as the Council may delegate t hereto .

The Chairperson of the Council and his/ her Deputy
12.(1) The Council shall have a part-time chairperson, to be elected from
among the members thereof, at the first sitting of the same; and such
sitting shall be presided by the oldest member.
(2) The Council shall elect a part-time deputy cha irperson at the same
sitting , after electing the chairperson and assumi ng his/ her office .

The tasks of the Chairperson and his/ her Deputy
13.(1) The Chairperson shall assume calling the Cou ncil for
convention , presiding the sitting thereof and supe rvising the
progress of its business.

(2) The Deputy Chairperson shall assume t he tasks of the
Chairperson upon his/ her absence, and any business , as may
be entrusted thereto by the Chairperson, or the Cou ncil.

The General Secretariate
14. The General Secretariate of the Council shall b e composed of the
Secretary General and the employees thereof. The Co uncil shall issue a
decision of the constituting and functions of the s ame . The Secretary
General shall be the highest executive and administ rative authority at the
General Secretariate .

The Secretary General , his/ her tasks and function s
15.(1) The Secretary General shall be appointed , from those possessed of
expertise and competence , to be a Secretary Genera l, by the president
of the Republic , in consultation with the First Vi ce –President and upon
recommendation of the Council, and shall specify hi s/ her emoluments
and shall be ex officio rapporteur of the Council.
(2) The Secretary General shall have competenc e on the following , to:-
(a) conduct administrative business , an d supervise the financial and
technical affairs ;
(b) prepare the draft of annual budget, and pr esent the same to the
Council ;
(c) supervise the General Secretariate ;
(d) call the Council for convention , upon direction of the Chairperson
of the Council;
(e) record minutes of the meetings , keep instruments and documents
and follow- up the execution of the decisions of th e Council;
(f) prepare and present to the Council, the admini strative and financial
reports, and the performance of the General Secreta riate;

(g) appoint employees , evaluate thei r performance and discipline
(h) any other business , as the Counci l , or its Chairperson may entrust
thereto .

Meeting of the Council
16.(1) The Council shall hold a periodical meeting, once, every month, and
they may hold emergent meetings, by the initiative of the Chairperson, or
upon a written request of one- third of the memb ers .
(2) The quorum, for meeting of the Council, shall b e constituted by the
attendance of more than half the members thereof.
(3) Decisions of the Council shall be adopted by co nsensus; and upon the
same not being possible, by the assents of the majo rity of the members
present; and in case of equality of votes, the Chai rperson shall have a
casting vote.

Vacancy of the seat
17.(1) The seat of a member of the Council shall fa ll vacant in the following
cases :- (a) death;
(b) resignation;
(c) relief, by the appointment, or election body;
(d) such infirmity , as may disable him to perform the duties of
(e) absence from three consecutive meetings, withou t permission,
or excuse acceptable by the Council;
(f) conviction of an offence involving honor, or ho nesty, or
contravention of the provisions of this Act.
(2) Upon vacancy of the seat, it shall be fill ed by the body concerned , by
the appointment, or election body, as the case may be, within a period,
not exceeding sixty days.


Appeal of sanctions and decisions of the Council
18. The person aggrieved by any sanction, as the Co uncil may inflict, or any
decision , as may be passed thereby, may appeal, t o the Competent
Court, within thirty days, of the date of his notif ication thereof.

The financial resources
19. The financial resources of the Council shall co nsist of the following :-
(a) such annual subsidy, as may be allocated theret o by the State;
(b) fees of licensing and renewal of newspapers, pr ess printing
presses and inputs of the same;
(c) such gifts, legacies and aids, as the Council may accept;
(d) any other resources, as the Council may approve .

The annual budget

20.(1) The Secretary-General shall prepare the draf t annual budget and present
the same to the Council.
(2) There shall be followed, in preparing the draft budget, the financial and
accountancy bases in the State.
(3) The Council shall pass the draft budget, and th en submit the same to the
Presidency for approval.

Accounts and audit
21.(1) The Council shall keep regular and financial accounts, as to such
financial and accountancy bases, as may be in use .
(2) The National Audit Chambers, or any validated a uditor, appointed by the
Council, upon approval of the Auditor General shall annually audit
accounts of the Council, within four months, of the end of the financial
year. The Secretary General shall facilitate the au dit operation.

(3) The Auditor General shall present to the Secret ary General the audit
report to submit the same to the Council.

Chapter III

Newspapers, Press Publications and Press Printed
Materials issued and licensed
22. The newspapers shall be issued by :-
(a) a company registered in a ccordance with the provisions of the
Companies Act, 1925;
(b) any legally registered political association ; on condition that
there shall be responsible, for the newspaper, an e ditor in chief, as
to the conditions, set out in section 26 hereof;
( c) any social association, academ ic institution or Government unit ,
for the promotion of academic , or specialized ac tivity; on
condition that there shall be responsible, for the printed material,
an editor in chief, as to the conditions, set out in section 26,
(2) The foreign communities, resident in the Sudan, may issue their own
publications and printed materials, after obtaining the necessary licence,
from the Council, as to such conditions and safegua rds, as the
regulations may specify.
Newspapers, press publications
and printed materials licensed

23.(1) There shall be required , for the issue of a ny newspaper, a press
publication or printed material, to obtain a licenc e therefor, from the
Council, after payment of the fees, as the regulati ons may specify.
(2) The licence shall annually be renewed, after pa yment of the licence
renewal fees, as the regulations may specify.
Conditions of granting licence to issue
newspapers or press publication

24.(1) The Council shall grant the licence, to issu e any newspaper, in
accordance with the following conditions :-
(a) the issue of newspapers, press publication or the information
industry, shall be among the basic objects of the p ress
(b) the press institution shall deposit such amount of money, as
the Council may specify, in accordance with the reg ulations, in
an independent bank account, to be specified by the Council, in
the Press Work ( Promotion) Regulations, together w ith
undertaking not to spend, from the deposited amount ,
otherwise than for the purposes of issue; and the C ouncil may,
by a decision thereof, raise the minimum limit of d epositing,
whenever the circumstances, or the public interest requires the
(c) the press institution shall contract with a suf ficient number of
journalists, possessed of competence and experience ;
provided that the number and qualification for the force shall
not be less than satisfaction of the minimum limits , set out in
the Press Work (Promotion) Regulations;
(d) the press institution shall have quarters, for practice of the
press activity, and the regulations shall specify t he conditions
and specifications of the same;
(e) the press institution shall have an approved in formation centre,
and the regulations shall specify the conditions and
specifications of the same;
(f) the newspaper, or press institution shall abide by such
specialization, as may have been approved therefor .

Chapter IV
Conditions of Work in the Press Profession

Conditions to be satisfied by a
journalist and an editor in chief

25.(1) A journalist, before practising the professi on, shall be required to be
enrolled in the Journalists Roll, at the Council.
(2) An editor in chief of a newspaper shall be requ ired :-
(a) to be a Sudanese, whose age shall not be less t han thirty five
(b) to have practised the press work professionally , for a period, not
less than ten years;
(c) to be in possession of a university qualificati on, or a diploma in
the press field;
(d) to be full time devoted to the press work;
(3) The Council may exclude a candidate for the edi ting in chief of a
newspaper, from the above conditions of experience and university
qualification, where he satisfies the distinguished typical qualifications,
or experiences.
(4) The Council may exclude the candidates for edit ing in chief of any
printed material, issued by the press institution, from the provisions of
sub-section 2 (a) ,(b) and (c)above .
(5) He shall have been convicted of an offence inco nsistent with honor ,
honesty or contravention of the provisions of this Act .

The responsibility of an editor in chief
26. An editor in chief shall be the first person re sponsible for the good
performance of editing of the newspaper, and shall also be responsible,
for all what is published in the newspaper, as an a ctual perpetrator of the
contraventions and offences, committed by the newsp aper, without
prejudice to the criminal responsibility, or any ot her responsibility of the
writer, the one who placed the drawing, the publish er, the printer or
distributor; and the responsibility, in such case, shall be joint .


Rights and immunity of a journalist
27.(1) A journalist shall enjoy the following right s and immunities :-
(a) his non-subjection to any act, for the purpose of affecting his
performance , chastity or his abidance by the profe ssional
duties thereof;
(b) protection of the sources of his press informat ion;
(c) his non-subjection to accountability, upon his communicating
public information, or expressing his opinion, savi ng cases of
red-handedness, no journalist shall be arrested wit h respect to
any charge, as may be connected to the practice of his press
profession, save after notifying President of the Journalists
General Union ,.
(2) Every public servant, or person, or body in who se possession are public
information, relating to the State, and the communi ty may avail such
information to journalists, unless the same have pr eviously been
classified, by law, or by a decision of any compete nt body, as being
information, which shall not be published.
(3) The Council shall take such appropriate measure s , as may guarantee
the rights and immunities of the journalist.
(4) A journalist shall not be dismissed, save after notifying the Journalists
General Union , of the justifications of the dismis sal. Where the period of
one month elapses, and the Union, fails during the same, to conciliate,
between the newspaper and the journalist, both part ies shall be
governed by the provisions of the Labour Act in for ce.

Duties of the journalist
28.(1) Besides any other obligations, in any other law, a journalist shall abide
by the following :-

(a) to intend truthfulness and chastity, in the per formance of his
press profession, together with his abidance by su ch
principles and values, as the Constitution and the law may
(b) not to publish any secret information, relating to the security
of the country , or the disciplined forces as to pl ans , training,
drilling and movement ; and the information shall b e taken
from the official spokesman of the competent force;
(c) not to publish any information, which he knows that they are
classified, in accordance with the provisions of se ction 27(2)
(d) abide by non- excitement or exaggeration in pre senting the
news of crimes , or civil contraventions;
(e) not to comment on the inquiries ; investigation s or trials , save
after final determination of the same;
(f) not to publish any matter inconsistent with rel igions, noble
belief customs or science, in such way , as may lea d to
spreading of quackery;
(g) to abide by the values and rules of professiona l conduct,
included in press covenant of honor, approved on p art of the
Journalists General Union .
(2) The duties of a journalist, set out above, shal l apply to every person,
who assumes, or participates in the editing, publis hing, or distributing of
any printed material.

The right to correction
29.(1) An editor in chief shall publish, upon the r equest of any person
aggrieved by the publication of any facts, or state ments, a correction of
such facts, or statements, at the same place of the newspaper, and in the
same types, in which the matter subject of grievanc e is published .

(2) The correction shall be published , within thre e days, of the date of
receipt of the request, in case of a daily newspap er, or in the first issue,
in case of any other newspaper.
(3) Publication of correction may be refused, where the :-
(a) request is presented, sixty days after the date of publication;
(b) correction involves affecting the rights, or s anctities of others;
(c) correction has previously been published,
(d) characteristic of commercial promotion, or adve rtisement
prevails over the correction;
(e) correction including contravention of the provi sions of the law.
(4) The Council may inflict any of the sanctions; p rovided for in this Act, in
case of the newspaper refraining from publishing th e correction, after its
being bound by the Council to publish the same, wit hout affecting the
legal rights of the aggrieved person.

The conditions to be satisfied

by the press publisher

30. A press publisher shall be a natural, or corpor ate person; and shall enjoy
the necessary competence and experience.

Duties of a publisher
31. Every press publisher shall :- (a) allocate a certain percentage of the funds of t he press
institution, to spend on training ;provided that th e Council
shall specify such percentage, in the Presswork (Pr omotion)
(b) approve remunerative terms of service, for the journalists
working at the press institution, as to such just s tandards ,
as may be governed by the Labour Act, 1997, or any other

(c) show, in a conspicuous way, in the first, and l ast page of
each printed material he issues, the name of the pu blisher
and printer, the addresses of both of them, and the date of
(d) deposit, with the General Secretariate of the C ouncil, a
number of issues, to be fixed by the Council, of e very
printed material, issued thereby , as the regulati ons may
(e) present the financial statements, and all the a ccounts,
pertaining to the press institution, for auditing t he same by
the General Audit Chambers .

Chapter V
Press Services Centres and Press

Printing Presses


32.(1) No person shall acquire centres for press se rvices, or press printing
presses, save after obtaining a licence therefor, from the Council, as to
such conditions and safeguards, as the regulations may specify.
(2) The press services centres and press printing p resses shall annually be
licensed, and renewed, after payment of such fees , as the regulations
may specify .

Import of press printed materials

33.(1) Any person may obtain a licence for impo rting any foreign press
printed materials, or materials bodies , by licen ce from the Council,
together with the Council reserving, the right of control and supervision.
(2) Every person, who imports any foreign press pri nted material shall
deposit therefrom, with the General Secretariate, s uch number of copies,
as the Council may specify.


Licence relinquished
34. The licence may be relinquished, upon approval of the Council; provided
that the person relinquished to shall satisfy the c onditions, prescribed
under this Act, for obtaining a licence, in the fir st place.

Chapter VI
Sanctions and Penalties


35.(1) The Council may inflict any of the following sanctions, upon the
corporate or natural persons, licensed under the pr ovisions of this Act,
in case of contravention thereby, of any of the pro visions thereof :-
(a) reprimand;
(b) binding the newspaper to apologize, or publish the decision of
the Council concerning the contravention;
(c) warning;
(d) deprival of the privileges allocated by the Cou ncil;
(e) turning the attention;
(f) published reprimand;
(g) suspension of the newspaper, for a period, not exceeding
seven days;
(h) revocation of the licence, in case of contraven tion of the
conditions under which it has been granted.
(2) The Council , before inflicting any sanction, a gainst any person, shall
avail him the right of hearing and defense .
(3) The Chairperson of the Council, may tender adv ice, to the publisher, or
editor in chief, about any matter, as they may deem the publication of
which constitutes a contravention of this Act.
(4) Any person aggrieved by any sanction inflicted by the Council, may
appeal to the Competent Court, within thirty days, of the date of his
being notified of the decision of sanction.

(5) The Council may delegate the powers thereof, un der this section, to one
of the Specialized Committees of the same.

The Competent Court
36.(1) The Chief Justice shall specify a court to h ave competence to
consider offences and contraventions in accordance with the
provisions of this Act.
(2) All cases relating to the press and public ation shall be deemed

37.(1) Whoever contravenes the provisions of this Act, and the regulations
shall be deemed to have committed a contravention , and shall , upon
conviction, be , punished with fine not exceeding ( 50,000) fifty
thousand Sudanese pounds.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-sec tion(1), the Court may inflict
the following penalties , in case of contravention, by the journalist, the
press institution , press services centres and pres s printing presses, of
the provisions of this Act , and the regulations ma de thereunder :-
(a) suspension of the printed material , for a term , not exceeding
two months;
(b) revocation of the licence, where the printed m aterials has
been sentenced to be suspended twice ;
(c) confiscation of the press printing presses an d the press
printed materials, in case of repetition of the con travention in
accordance with the provisions of this Act , for mo re than
twice .

Making regulations
38.(1) The Council may make such regulations, as ma y be necessary, for the
organization of their business and implementation of the provisions of
this Act.
(2) Without prejudice, to the generality of th e foregoing, in sub-section (1),
above, the regulations shall organize the following matters:-
(a) promoting the press work;
(b) the conditions for granting, renewal and relinq uishment of the
(c) the conditions for practice of the press work, and the
profession safeguards;
(d) organizing the business of the Council, and the Specialized
Committees thereof;
(e) the sanctions procedure;
(f) the terms of service of the employees of the Ge neral
(g) the financial procedure;
(h) organizing training;
(i) the rules for selecting and electing members of the Council.