IFJ Condemns Arrests of two journalists in South Sudan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has

today condemned the arrest and detention of two journalists in South Sudan. The

authorities claim the reporters were involved in protests in which at least ten

people died last month in the north of the country, media reports say.

 

“We condemn these arrests and ask for the immediate

release of the journalists. These repressive measures against media reflect the

growing insecurity for journalists and follow our recent calls on authorities

in South Sudan to promote press freedom and safeguard journalists’ security,”

said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa director.

 

According to independent sources, Tv journalists Louis

Pasquale and Ashab Khamis were arrested on 4 January 2013  and are still detained in prison without

charges in the north western city of Wau, for their alleged role in protests

that resulted in death of at least 10 people last December.

 

The IFJ voiced its concerns over the treatment of

journalists in South Soudan where cases of violence are on the rise. On 5

December last year, Diing Chan Awuol, nicknamed Isaiah Abraham a columnist and

blogger writing for the Paris based Sudan Tribune, Gurtong and Sudanese Online,

was murdered in cold blood outside his home in the suburb of Gudek in Juba, the

capital city. It was the first time a journalist has been killed in South Sudan

since it gained independence from the north.

 

The Federation warned of the danger for South Soudan

to allow intolerance of independent reporting to take hold as such a trend

would adversely impact on the future of democracy and rule of law in the

country.

 

“The promotion of press freedom and safety of

journalists are in the best interests of the newly independent state of South

Soudan,” added Baglo. “The recent spike in violence targeting media does not

bode well for democratic rule in the country.”

 

For more information, please contact IFJ:  +221

33 867 95 86

The IFJ represents

over 600.000 journalists in 134 countries