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African writers are standing up for each other.

In a statement issued this morning, the Association of Nigerian Authors condemned the recent banning of the Sudanese Writers Union by the government.

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Read the the statement below:

Statement by ANA: In Support of Sudanese Writers Union

On the 29th of January, 2015 the Government of the Republic of Sudan, acting through the Ministry of Culture, forcibly dissolved the Sudanese Writers Union [SWU], with cultural activities banned in the run up to local elections. This gross violation of human rights guaranteed by international law has followed a pattern of interference in the activities of writers and intellectuals by the Government of Sudan.  It would be recalled that the activities of the Sudanese Writers Union were banned for a sixteen year period and were only reorganized as recently as 2006.

The Association of Nigerian Authors states that the actions of the Government of Sudan are entirely unacceptable and we condemn the persecution of our brothers and sisters in the Sudan categorically.

As the largest writers body on the continent, founded by Chinua Achebe, and currently with 28 chapters and over 5000 members in and outside Nigeria, ANA is committed to nurturing development through Creativity and the provision of spaces for the intercourse of ideas. We are fully aware of the contributions of Sudanese writers, including voices like Tayeb Salih, Taban lo Liyong and Leila Aboulela, to the literary and cultural heritage of Sudan and African peoples. This priceless credibility is grossly harmed by the Government of Sudan’s unfortunate attempt at censorship and the muzzling of free speech and of the creative imagination.

The Association of Nigerian Authors stands firmly in solidarity with the Sudanese Writers Union in this time of censorship and oppression.

The pen is mightier than the sword; the story is greater than the violence of State.

SIGNED

Richard Ali

Publicity Secretary (North)

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For National Executive Committee.