South Sudan: Six journalists arrested over viral video

Six journalists from the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) were arrested by the National Security Services (NSS) on Thursday, 5 January over a video in which President Salva Kiir Mayardit was shown apparently urinating on himself, during a road commissioning ceremony. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) in expressing concern over the safety of the journalists and calling for their immediate release.

South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir leaves after attending the departure ceremony of the South Sudan People's Defence Forces (SSPDF) in Juba on December 28, 2022. Credit: Samir Bol / AFP

According to local media reports, “the journalists are under investigation over footage that went viral on social media in December” and are currently being held at the premises of the National Security Services. They are suspected of having knowledge of the release of “a certain footage” to the public.

UJOSS issued a statement on 5 January calling on the government to “expedite an administrative or legal process to address the issue in a fair and transparent manner and in accordance with the law”, if there was a prima facie case of professional misconduct. UJOSS has called for a speedy conclusion of the investigations.

 IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger asked for the immediate release of the journalists. "This is a clear act of intimidation and we don't see any sign of guilt on the part of our colleagues who should be allowed to resume work and exercise their profession freely," he stated.

For more Information, please contact the IFJ - Africa Office

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BP 64257, Dakar, Senegal

Tel: +221- 33 867 95 86/87; Fax: +221- 33 827 02