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S. Sudan newspaper editor banned from leaving country

July 18, 2019 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese newspaper editor was on Wednesday prevented from leaving the country after authorities claimed that he had published an article that was critical of the government.

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Michael Christopher of Al-Watan newspaper (ST photo)

Michael Christopher, the chief editor of the Arabic Al Watan, newspaper was forcibly removed by security officers from a Kenyan bound plane and his passport confiscated.

The journalist was headed to attend a workshop in Nairobi, Kenya.

In March, the Arabic newspaper was suspended by the National Communications Authority (NCA) for operating without a license.

South Sudan government’s failure to pass legislation protecting the media has increased concerns about the state of press freedom.

In recent years, increasing reports of harassment faced by journalists in South Sudan have raised concern that Juba is reneging on the basic freedoms its authorities promised the population when the country seceded from Sudan in 2011.