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RWB: Opinion writer gunned down outside Juba home

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Reporters Without Borders

Press release

6 December 2012

SOUTH SUDAN

Opinion writer gunned down outside Juba home

Reporters Without Borders is deeply saddened to learn that Diing Chan Awuol, a leading columnist and critic of South Sudan’s government, was gunned down outside his home in Juba in the early hours of yesterday.

An advocate of peace between the two Sudans, Awuol wrote frequent columns for the Sudan Tribune and Gurtong websites and the newspaper Destiny under the pen-name of Isaias Abraham.

“His death is a tragic setback to the hopes cherished by South Sudan’s defenders of freedom of opinion since independence,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We hail the determination displayed by the South Sudanese police, who have pledged to carry out a thorough and effective investigation.

“The way this case is handled will be test for freedom of information and free speech in this young nation. Only a tireless fight against impunity for crimes of violence against journalists and other news providers will preserve these freedoms, which are the basis of democracy.”

Several journalists such as Alan Boswell, Taban Bonifacio and John Madol Panther have been the target of recent intimidation attempts after criticizing the South Sudanese authorities. Awuol’s last column, published on the Sudan Tribune website on 28 November, was a renewed call for peace between Sudan and South Sudan.

When interviewed by a Reporters Without Borders representative in May 2012, information and media minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin took pride in the fact that no South Sudanese journalist had ever been killed in connection with his work.

While the motive for Awuol’s murder has yet to be established, the threats he had received in connection with his columns suggest that it was directly linked to the views he expressed.

One of Awuol’s relative told the Sudan Tribune: “I knew he would one day be assassinated for his writings and I told him to stop but he said he would prefer to die than to stop writing.”

For more information on the state of freedom of information in South Sudan, see the Report “World’s youngest country yet to embark on road to civil liberties” released in July 2012.

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 7 December 2012 08:31, by Akolde Nhiak Jinub

    Indeed, Isaiah died because of his open expression 4 a just cause. He died 4 a simple thing: de bitter truth. I am one person having been threatened n quoted. I do solemn write, but my current work has thwarted my time, thus, taking longer than I would wish to write. South Sudan Security services is exactly a duplicate of Khartoum NISS. His death marks a new dawn 4 us writers 2 continue de fight!

    repondre message

  • 7 December 2012 09:04, by Die (Truth) or Live (Lie)

    Dictatorship and Tribalism,
    Kir is soon a dead man because he is supporting Genocidal course in all means with death of Majok Ayom, and now Isaiah Diing and including Murle Vs Lou, Cueibet Vs Tonj, Twic Mayardit Vs Bul Nuer but not Gogrial Vs any? what was his Public statement? A country being led by a blind man.

    repondre message

  • 8 July 2013 10:12, by ShortQuest

    Of course, what a fantastic site and educative posts, I surely will bookmark your site.Best Regards! 24option

    repondre message

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