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South Sudan security shuts down English newspaper in Juba

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February 4, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s internal security, a department within National Security Services (NSS), ordered closure of a local newspaper after seizing copies of its Tuesday edition.

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A vendor sells newspapers in the South Sudanese capital, Juba (Photo: Al-Jazeera)

Wol Deng Atak, the Nation Mirror newspaper editor, said closure of the English daily followed unsuccessful attempts to explain to authorities a story it wrongly reported last month.

“Due to typing error, the title of Nation Mirror main story on January 28th 2015 gave impression that SPLA have withdrawn from Renk garrison,” he said in a release.

“The following morning, on January 29th, 2015, the Nation Mirror editorial team and it administration extended an apology to the gallant forces of SPLA and the entire readership of Nation Mirror,” it adds.

The newspaper had earlier been criticised by security officials for publishing a headline that allegedly caused panic among citizens. Its chief editor was summoned by security officials for questioning in line with what had appeared in the newspaper.

On 3, February, security agents seized all copies of the newspapers at the gates of printing company. A follow up meeting on Tuesday with security officials and the newspaper management resulted to formal letter of closure of the paper, Atak said.

“The administration of the Nation Mirror would like to reiterate that the accusation leveled against us is untrue,” Atak said in the press statement adding that he was told to cease publication indefinitely.

“We are still negotiating the reopening [of the newspaper],” he added.

Since the start of South Sudan’s conflict in 2013, tensions between the media and authorities have been high since with several arrests and intimidation of journalists.

Despite last year’s passing of its media bills, South Sudan ranked 124 out of 148 countries in the press freedom index, Reporters Without Borders said in early 2014.

(ST)

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  • 5 February 2015 06:03, by Lotodo Awino Odug

    These news papers are struggling financially due to printing costs, that could be the reason for using wrong heading in order to grab attention from diverse customers within the city. forgive them this time and this will be their final warning.

    repondre message

    • 5 February 2015 17:47, by Redeemer

      Destructive media

      repondre message

      • 5 February 2015 19:55, by Bentiu Sudan

        The corrupt government with Drunkard president keeps on arresting journalists and shutting down news paper that publish illegal things that the corrupt government official do.Visionless, power hungry, and greedy president and his thieves officials do not want media to publish their weakness and their secrete plans that caused chaos in the country. Shame on you drunkard president of S. Sudan.

        repondre message

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