Tag : juba-post
Tag : juba-post
[Montréal, Québec, Canada 26°C] Media freedom since southern Sudan’s January referendum has been less than stellar. A few examples of the repression of press freedom since the referendum include:
1) The arrest of The Citizen newspaper, Editor-in_Chief, Nhial Bol for reporting about an attack on him and his driver; and the beating by security forces of one of the newspaper’s journalists for reporting about demolitions at Juba University.
2) The editor of the Juba Post was harassed and the newspaper was confiscated on March 31, 2011.
3) Bhagita Radio was threatened with closure by government officials.
4) Arabic newpapers, Al-Masir and Al-Istiqlal, both produced in the south but printed in the north were prohibited from being distributed in South Sudan.
5) U.N.-backed Miraya FM was warned by authorities to replace its staff or be shut down.
The media landscape in South Sudan is a complex one and Al Jazeera’s The Listening Post, which reports on media issues around the world, recently included a report on media freedom in the new Republic of South Sudan. The 25-minute episode begins with a report on journalist access into Syria. The situation for journalists in South Sudan follows (at 14:28).
At a gathering to mark World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, journalists in Southern Sudan stressed the importance of a free and independent media in a region that will become the world’s newest nation on 9 July.
Oliver Modi, chair of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), emphasized the media’s critical role in disseminating information throughout the semi-autonomous region after more than two decades of civil war.
But he expressed deep concern over recent attacks on press freedom, including the confiscation of newspapers and recent arrests of reporters.
With senior officials from the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS) in attendance, Modi recounted several incidents that had compromised media independence.
“This year, a journalist from The Citizen newspaper was beaten by security forces as he tried to report on a demolition at Juba University,” Modi said.
He also cited the arrest of Nhial Bol, the daily’s editor-in-chief, for writing about an attack on his driver and reporter.
Separately, the Juba Post‘s editor, Michael Korma, had come under harassment for publishing an article that the government deemed a threat to the country’s security. Editions of the Juba Post were seized by security officials before they could be distributed.
Elsewhere, Juba’s Bakhita Radio and Liberty FM were threatened with closure by Central Equatoria State security officials for reasons Modi called “dubious”.
The event was characterised by
The confiscation of the bi-weekly Juba Post by Southern Sudanese authorities has lifted the lid on legal uncertainties for independent media in the emerging nation.
When security officials seized up to 2,500 copies of the Juba Post’s March 31 edition, the reason given by authorities was an article reporting that the renegade militia leader Gen. George Athor was planning to attack Juba before Southern Sudan’s independence in July. Whether this intention is carried out or not, a very real concern is the restriction of media freedom.
The paper’s article, titled “Athor plans to attack Juba” quotes a spokesman for a new rebel army, the South Sudan Democratic Movement (SSDM), Maj. Gen. Dok James Pouk: “Forces loyal to Gen. Athor will launch a heavy attack in Juba shortly before South Sudan hoists her national flag.”
Gen. Athor was a leading commander in the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) before breaking away a year ago to form a rebel militia against the Government of Southern Sudan (GoSS).
Southern Sudanese security officials had reportedly warned the paper to halt publication of the story. The newspapers were confiscated shortly after they were delivered to Juba from Khartoum, where they are printed.
A member of the SPLM who did not want to be named said he disagreed with the decision to seize copies of the Juba Post, and that GoSS should have acted by refuting the article instead.