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South Sudan’s Kiir denies issuing threats to kill journalists

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August 22, 2015 (JUBA) - The office of the South Sudanese presidency has denied reports that the country’s leader threatened to kill journalists working against the state.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir speaks at a public rally in Juba on 18 March 2015 (Photo: AP/Jason Patinkin)

The presidency said president Salva Kiir “was quoted out of context”.

“However, the office of the president would like to categorically reject this attribution of such dangerous statement to the President of the Republic in what appeared to be smearing campaign against President Salva Kiir Mayardit,” partly reads the statement.

The spokesperson the presidency, Ateny Wek Ateny, said Kiir, while addressing reporters last week, only urged journalists to observe ethics when doing their work.

“And that they must not forget at the end of the day that South Sudan was their country. They should not betray the country which killed people during the liberation struggle,” explained Ateny.

President Kiir, his spokesperson stressed, was a keen protector of the right to freedom of expression and fundamental human rights.

“We therefore, would like to assure the international community and all journalists to discard this serious misquote of the president’s intention. Nothing shall harm a journalist when going about journalistic profession,” said the presidency spokesperson.

He said journalistic reporting is based on professional ethics and journalism codes of conduct and that the government cherishes freedom of expression and will protect all journalists in the country.

“The President of the republic didn’t have any intention to threat, or to effect killing of any life. If a journalist has failed to render journalistic duties in accordance with professional practice of Journalism, the best place for them is to face a libel either in tort or criminal law”, said Ateny.

The statement from the presidency comes days after a South Sudanese journalist, Moi Julius Peter, was gunned down by unknown assailants in the capital, Juba.

The presidency statement did not, however, mention anything regarding the killing.

President Kiir’s latest remarks allegedly targeting journalists as attracted serious criticisms from media freedom groups and diplomats from across the world.

The Committee to Protect Journalists’ representative in East Africa, Tom Rhodes said, “The leader of any country threatening to kill journalists is extremely dangerous and utterly unacceptable”

“We call on President Salva Kiir to retract his comments immediately” he added.

(ST)

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  • 23 August 2015 01:10, by dinkdong

    Ateny Wak, please stop covering Mr. Journalists-killer’s ass. We have all heard what he said. If you want, Let him get on the TV and says exactly what he meant.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2015 03:23, by Developer

    President Kiir has already warned Journalists that if this country has killed many people one day his government agencies will demonstrate on them, shame on so dumb president Kiir. He is hatred, killer and illiterate man who also care for his mouth and his relatives. He doesn’t have ability to lead a nation, even Kiir has failed to rise his own family in proper manner.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2015 03:24, by Developer

    President Kiir has already warned Journalists that if this country has killed many people one day his government agencies will demonstrate on them, shame on so dumb president Kiir. He is hatred, killer and illiterate man who also care for his mouth and his relatives. He doesn’t have ability to lead a nation, even Kiir has failed to rise his own family in proper manner.

    repondre message

  • 23 August 2015 05:55, by mass

    no matter how many times you pathological liars try to save your faces by deny your philosophy of killing the messengers of truth no one with the intelligent mind is going to believe you now or then. The sane south Sudanese masses and the concern international community who have been following the current civil war in south Sudan know full well that it has been created by the government in power.

    repondre message

    • 23 August 2015 12:40, by Pure Nationalist

      Our president lacks leadership qualities, if a commander takes grass and start beating the offender, what can his bodyguards use? Sticks if not their guns’s soles. What if a dumb president utterly announced that a killing should one day be practically demonstrated by one the journalist, what would his dumbest loyalists do? Killing any innocent poor journalist that comes across them.

      repondre message

      • 23 August 2015 12:54, by Pure Nationalist

        Mr Ateny! you know what the Western police used to tell their suspects, they usually say"sir you have to go with us and you have the right to remain silent because any word you say shall be used against you in the court of law", be it in your tongue or English you, you have to comply with the order.

        repondre message

        • 23 August 2015 13:06, by Pure Nationalist

          Therefore, president Kiir is the culprit for using wrong language without due care publicly which implies misuse of national position.

          repondre message

  • 23 August 2015 17:04, by Nyesi Ta

    Ateny Wek, your dump boss should take responsibility for his own irresponsible comments. This is what he said "If anybody among [journalists] does not know that this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day, one time. ... Freedom of the press does not mean you work against the country," Wek, explain what the illegitimate president meant.

    repondre message

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