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S. Sudanese police vow to protect journalists against threats

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April 10, 2014 (JUBA) – Members of South Sudanese police services say it is their duty to provide a conducive environment for journalists despite accusations of harassment.

Police spokesperson Col. James Monday Enocka told Sudan Tribune in an interview on Wednesday that the allegations of police obstructing reporters from working during the night would be seriously taken through investigations.

“I don’t think there is any intention to hinder the operation of the media as far I know according to the law,” said Enocka.

Last week, Citizen TV, the country’s only private station announced it has closed down allegedly due to detention by authorities of its staffs during night shifts.

“No authority has told us to stop, but [the] situation necessitated taking this painful decision,” said Nhial Bol, the editor of CTV and the Citizen newspaper.

But Enocka said he cannot believe the entire narration of circumstances leading to shutting down the TV operation and “we met brother Nhial [its editor] over this.”

He said the curfew imposed following what the government the government called a coup attempt by former vice president Riek Machar in December does not restrict legitimate movement at night says reporters won’t be prevented to travel anytime because they are coming from work.

“I am sure any reasonable personnel will not do that,” he added.

“We respect the media. We want to give them, and it is our duty to give them, that protective environment so that they can be able to disseminate information,” said Enocka.

A number of reporters alleged being threatened by security apparatus in across South Sudan since fighting broke out in mid-December.

Presently, there are no media laws in the new nation thus making it hard for media practitioners to draw the line between the dos and don’ts of the profession.

(ST)

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