JUBA, Sudan (AFP) - A local newspaper editor said on Saturday he was being held by southern Sudanese authorities for publishing an article critical of corruption in the semi-autonomous, post-conflict region.
Nhial Bol, editor of The Citizen, said police arrested him on Friday morning for a story printed October 7, which lay corruption accusations against the ministry of legal affairs and constitutional development in southern Sudan.
"This should be a civil case, but I have been told I will be held for three days without bail," Bol told AFP by telephone from inside a police station in the southern capital, Juba.
"We have verified the facts of the story, but any action -- if they want to challenge it -- should be taken against me through the use of the courts, not by taking me to jail."
Police were not immediately reachable for comment.
Accusations of corruption have dogged mass reconstruction projects in the south, which bore the brunt of a devastating 21-year civil war with the north until a 2005 peace agreement.
It is not the first time the combative editor has brushed with the law.
His southern-based, English-language newspaper was suspended by the authorities in Khartoum last month, although it has since been allowed to continue printing in the Sudanese capital.
Sudan has tightened restrictions on local media in recent months, demanding that newspapers based in the south move their head offices to Khartoum.
The country's interim constitution, in place for the six-year implementation of the 2005 peace agreement, upholds freedom of the press and expression.
But censorship is practiced daily. In Khartoum, the powerful security apparatus inspects newspaper editions nightly, while editors who refuse to remove articles deemed offensive risk a ban on their publications.
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