A foot for thought

JICA organized training on protection of journalists and Freedom of expression

Anna Nimiriano Editor in Chief Juba Monitor

On the 12th of this month, 2022 Japanese International Corporation Agency (JICA} had organized one-day training on freedom of expression and access to information in Juba. The purpose of the seminar is to clarify the relationship between the media–related authorities and the media houses from the viewpoints of “Freedom of Expression and Access to Information”.

To develop a common understanding of the legal provision of the media–related laws concerning “Freedom of Expression and Access to information”. During the presentations, a lot of things were pointed out on how to provide access to information and freedom of expression in the country.

There were big differences between freedom of expression in Japan and South Sudan. Japan a developed country, its journalists working environment is better compared to South Sudan. It was said that freedom of expression is the mandate of the government and it has taken time and effort for them to reach to the standard where they are in.

 JICA Chief Representative said that Japan’s government is ready to support peace in South Sudan based on the policy of the government.

He further said the government would support also media in South Sudan, build the capacity of journalists, share experiences and understand challenges facing media houses and associations working for media development in South Sudan.

It was found that South Sudan needs a lot to be done on the issue of freedom of expression and access to information. There is a restriction on freedom of speech and access to information. A lot was discussed on media laws and the protection of journalists. The working environment is not conducive to journalists, they were been arrested, detained, harassed and threatened in the process of doing work. A few days ago, a journalist from Eye Radio was kidnapped during the morning hours, which indicated anything can happen to journalists at any time.

Last month eight journalists were arrested in parliament when they went for coverage. However, it was discovered that there is no good relationship between journalists and some government officials.  Therefore, journalists are expected to do their work in a peaceful manner. There is a need to understand the nature of their work and treat them well.

May God bless us all.

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