Home | News    Sunday 17 February 2013

S. Sudan: UN concerned about attacks on journalists, activists

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February 16, 2013 (JUBA) – The head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) on Friday, expressed deep concerns over reports of threats, intimidation, and attacks against journalists, civil society, and human rights activists in the country.

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A group picture of South Sudanese journalists with their lawyer. (L-R) Ngor Garang, Dhieu Mathok, Molana Agok Makur and Dengdit Ayok (ST photo)

Hilde Johnson, said such practices, greatly undermine people’s right to enjoyment of their basic rights and freedoms of expression in society

“UNMISS is deeply disturbed by reports of threats, intimidation, harassment and attacks against journalist, civil society and human rights activists,” said Johnson at a press briefing in Juba, the South Sudan capital.

Significant efforts must now be made by the government to address this trend and to ensure that people can enjoy basic rights, such as freedom of expression", she added.

South Sudan, Reporters Without Borders said in its latest world press freedom index, ranked at 124 out of 179 countries considered, falling 12 places from the previous year.

In recent years, journalists in the new nation, which still lacks media legislation, have complained of constant harassment and intimidation, mainly at the hands of the security agencies.

Last year unknown assailants gunned down a renowned South Sudanese writer and blogger, Ding Chan Awuol, at his home in Gudele, located west of the country’s capital.

The government says that two suspects have been arrested in connection with the killing of the writer, popularly known as Isaiah Abraham.

"…we urge the national authorities to expedite the investigation into the killing of Isaiah Abraham and bring the perpetrators to justice," said Johnson, who is also the Special Representative to the United Nations Secretary General.

In his new year’s address, President Salva Kiir, expressed concern about cases of harassment, abuse and arbitrary arrests, meted against people said to be critical of government policies.

"There are those who are being threatened allegedly for using their voices, which sometimes are critical to the government policies. They have experienced harassment, abuse and arbitrary arrests. This is unacceptable. This is not what we fought for," partly read Kiir’s message.

He added, "Reneging on the principles of our struggle now is disrespecting the memory of our martyrs who fought and died for our freedom”.

South Sudan attained self-rule in July 2011, after its population overwhelmingly voted for separation in a self-determination vote. The plebiscite was a key part a 2005-peace deal, which ended over two decades of north-south Sudan civil war.

(ST)

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  • 17 February 2013 09:45, by master

    Johnson
    reap what you put under soil

    repondre message

    • 17 February 2013 15:50, by Malou Manyiel

      UN is another mess in South Sudan. How come that UN kept quite in the recent fighting that killed more than 100 people at Akobo county in Jongeli state? When SPLA want to continue with disarmament in Pibor, they interfer that SPLA commited human rights abuses in Pibor but Murle tribe along with their notorious militia are killing innocent civilians, mostly women and children, yet UN is watching.

      repondre message

  • 17 February 2013 10:03, by wang

    Kiir will kill them one-by-one if they don’t shut up.

    repondre message

    • 17 February 2013 11:20, by william mawien

      Wang and master kiir is not a killer like bashir
      el bashir is a killer begger gay racist and many others

      repondre message

    • 17 February 2013 11:22, by Tutbol

      You cannot just plow your work through in a vacum; there must be guidelines between the journalists, the citizenry & the state to avoid the abuses such as: freedom of expressions when the govt mulls them or situations where journalists infringe on ordinary citizens lives to privacy or situations where the journalists infringe national security laws. UNMISS shouldn’t be blowing these noises yet,...

      repondre message

      • 17 February 2013 11:48, by Tutbol

        ...when the regulatory media laws aren’t even in existance. Every country have regulations to manage the daily lives of those who live in it, but some UN agents want S Sudanese to work in unregulated media land scape. The UN should know better how media spread hatred & caused Rwanda genocide. But doesn’t this damn troll Hilde Johnson knows that she is not an authority in S Sudan’s adminstration?

        repondre message

    • 17 February 2013 11:24, by Tong dut

      All of them will kill like what is taking place in jonglei and lakes state.How many people he killed, who will talk with him?
      Since he is KIIR.

      repondre message

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