Rights group criticizes Sudan media clampdown

The London-based Amnesty International is calling on Sudanese authorities to stop what it says is "relentless harassment" of journalists.

The group said Tuesday that Sudanese authorities arrested a prominent syndicated columnist who reported last year on the alleged rape of an activist by state security officers.

Amnesty says the columnist is charged with "crimes against the state" and "defamation" for reporting the alleged rape.

Amnesty also points to repeated government seizures of Sudanese newspapers. It says editors are forced to stay in daily contact with state security agents.

The group describes the moves by Sudanese authorities against the papers as an attempt to "silence any form of dissent."