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South Sudan rights body says killing journalist a crime

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August 21, 2015 (KAMPALA) -The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SHURSA) has condemned murder of journalist Peter Moi Julius in the national capital, Juba, saying such killings of journalists in the country meant shutting down the voice of the people.

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South Sudanese journalist and editor, Nhial Bol , reads a copy of the Juba Monitor, with a heading referring to the killing of journalist Peter Moi of The New Nation newspaper, on August 21, 2015 (Photo AFP/Samir Bol)

Biel Boutros Biel, chief executive of SSHURSA in an exclusive interview with Sudan Tribune on Friday said the murder of Julius on Wednesday in Juba by unknown gunmen suspected to be government agents was a crime against humanity committed by the South Sudanese government of president Salva Kiir.

“On behalf of my colleagues in Human Rights Society and on my own behalf, I send our heartfelt condolences to the family of fallen people’s voice Moi. We share this deep loss with the family for this is not only a great loss for Moi’s relatives and parents but for the nation and sad day like 5 December 2012 when Isaiah Abraham was gunned down by unknown gunmen whom the state has failed to reveal those
killers up to this day,” Bile said.

Moi who work with the New Nation was killed following reported harsh comments from president Kiir against journalists last week at Juba international airport, when the president was heading for Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for peace talks with his rival, Riek Machar.

Many journalists in South Sudan and Human Rights bodies say the president’s words are behind the death of their colleague, adding that since the reported comment of the president came public, nobody in his office denied it suggesting it was a confirmation.

“It is deeply regrettable that the murder of journalist Moi has come just a few days after president Salva Kiir allegedly said that ‘he would kill journalists’ against his government. These words have been attributed to President Kiir by different sources and to date neither the President nor his press secretary has disputed the allegations,”
he added.

Biel said the president’s comment was a direct incitement to kill journalists indirectly by any person who is willing to implement the president’s words.

“We call upon president Kiir to always reserve his words on whatever he says especially on issues that are so sensitive to be lamented by his person and such matters including those concerning the lives of individuals or people. As a head of state, his words have very serious consequences which may be negative or positive,” Biel angrily added.

Several media outlets including Committee to Protect Journalists have published this threat after warning by South Sudanese president and condemned him against irresponsible statement that may be dangerous to lives of journalists.

Moi death ranked 7 among other six journalists from South Sudan that were killed with no explanation or findings by the government.

The rights body has called for further investigation on perpetrators who may be behind the death of Moi.

“As we mourn journalist Moi, we strongly call upon the government to investigate the death of Journalist Moi and bring perpetrators to justice though several calls have been made to government before and bear no results on similar cases such as the assassination of Isaiah Abraham and disappearance of other persons including engineer John Louis and civil society leaders,” he added.

Biel also called on the international community to continue standing with South Sudanese journalists and call upon entire media fraternity to stand together at such trying times.

He said losing one is a blow to all persons who have humanity at heart and regrettable loss to South Sudan especially such a young man who spoke out for those who could not speak for themselves.

(ST)

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  • 22 August 2015 11:40, by Ayuen deng

    Biel.

    I think many people are being killed in Bortown,Juba,Rumbek,Torit,Yambio and many others towns in south Sudan,so pointing evidenceless figures at Government security a gencies will not stop this killing in our beloved Country South Sudan.So pick a case and bring the culprits to Court of justice.

    repondre message

    • 22 August 2015 13:44, by Akook

      How Mr Ayuen can those being killed like Moi and others like Biel bring to book those national security criminals without government doing it?!

      repondre message

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