Mohamed Zain Al-Abideen, the Dean of the College of Higher Education at the University of Al Zaiem Al Azhari in Omdurman, was arrested on 20 February by National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) agents after leaving his office at the university campus. He was taken to the NISS headquarters, where he was interrogated for an hour and a half about an article he wrote, in which he criticized Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir on the issue of government corruption and nepotism. Mohamed Zain Al-abideen was subsequently transferred to Kober Prison in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum. He was detained for 15 days in a 2m x 2.5m cell, with no access to a lawyer or contact with his family. He was released on 4 March without charge.
The article he wrote was published in the daily newspaper Al Tayar. The NISS confiscated every published copy on the same day and suspended its publication on the following day. Al Tayar is believed to have been permitted to publish an edition for the first time since then on 7 March.