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South Sudan bans newspaper for one month

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March 27, 2019 (JUBA) - The South Sudan Media Authority has ordered the suspension for 30 days of the Arabic language daily newspaper, Al-Watan, for operating without a valid license.

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

Last January, the Media Authority summoned Al-Watan Editor in Chief Michael Christopher and ordered him to stop articles supportive of the anti-government protests in Sudan.

"This letter constitutes official notice of suspension of Al Watan Daily Arabic Newspaper by the Media Authority for a period of 30 days with effect from March 27, 2019 for gross non-compliance with the licence and terms and conditions," reads the letter of suspension signed by the Elijah Alier Kual, Managing Director of the Media Authority.

In his letter seen by Sudan Tribune, Elijah further said the newspaper has been operating since 25 April, 2015 without a valid license in spite of repeated advices and reminders.

In a short post about the decision on his Facebook page, Michael accused the South Sudanese authorities of seeking to punish for the support of the newspaper to the ongoing protest movement against the government of President Omer al-Bashir.

"They are still sticking to their position that I have to offer an apology to the tyrannical government and the tyrants in Sudan," he wrote.

The South Sudanese media law of 2013 does not require licensing of the media and journalism in South Sudan they only have to meet the requirement of registration as a business. Only, TV or radion broadcasting services have to get such a license.

The opposition PDM condemned the Media Authority ban Al-Watan for one month and accused the information minister Michael Makuei of imposing media and journalist licensing without parliamentary oversight descrobing ot as a " grossly unlawful abuse of power".

(ST)

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  • 28 March 08:58, by Midit Mitot

    Whatever things is working in South Sudan has never been working somewhere else, everybody is doing things anyhow, that,s why government sometime does,t give freedom of expression to the media body. How should you operate your activities without license from authority?

    repondre message

    • 28 March 10:40, by Theallseeingeye

      Midit idiot
      The South Sudanese media law of 2013 does not require licensing of the media and journalism in South Sudan they only have to meet the requirement of registration as a business. Only, TV or radion broadcasting services have to get such a license. Then Which licenses are you talking about? or you meant Jienge License?!!??!

      repondre message

      • 28 March 13:16, by Midit Mitot

        Theallseeingeye,

        It can not happen like that, any country whether local or national media must liaise with the country Media laws, not everyone at his/her home to develop someone unrecognizable to operate. if so, what country is that? ,I,am doubting whether you have clue on Media laws.

        repondre message

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