A foot for thought

Situation of journalists in South Sudan

Anna Nimiriano Editor in Chief Juba Monitor

Journalists in South Sudan are facing a lot of challenges during the time of coverage. They are being threaten, tortured and detained without any charges. On 23rd November, 2020 a journalist from Juba Monitor went to cover a story at University of Juba and he was arrested by police, detained and released after some hours.

According to Ajak Chol, he was still in the process of covering students complain on the issue of fees in which some of them paid and others weren’t yet paid, when he tried to take photos, he was called by a police officer and ordered other police officers to push him in the car and taken to Buluk police station.

 He was detained for some hours and released. He was told not to report any information on University of Juba on the above mentioned date.  That is the condition of Journalists in the country.

On 16th of October, this year Bullen Bala, working for Juba Monitor was also arrested when he was covering protest of students of University of Juba against inflation of dollars in the black markets. He was detained for three days and released on bail without any charges. His two telephones and a notebook were confiscated up to now they are not released to him.

 On 26th of the same month, five journalists were arrested, one of them was working for Juba Monitor, they were covering allegations of security organs collecting money from 106 traders at Custom market and promised them land for business.

The above mentioned statement proved that there is no freedom of press. The arrest of journalists on duty is reducing the performance of media houses in the country.  It is like journalism is the work that risky live of people. You cannot imagine less than two months the cases of journalists arrested become high like that.

During the national dialogue conference the cases of journalists’ arrests were not brought up for discussion. The above mentioned issues were supposed to be discussed and people come out with mechanism and recommendations on how to protect journalists. There were several workshops organized to harmonize relationship between media, police, security organs and others. What was said in those workshops were different and implementation is another thing.

We need to support journalists and treat them well in any case or in the field. They are not criminals, in case of sensitive event, let them not be threaten rather cooperate with them.

May God bless us all.

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