South Sudan: Western diplomatic missions and press freedom groups raise alarm over media clampdown

Several countries and press freedom groups have warned of human rights violations in South Sudan, including the harassment of journalists and media organisations. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today joined the call on the new South Sudanese Government to respect human rights and press freedom.

South Sudan President Salva Kiir, speaks during a press conference at the State House in Juba, South Sudan. Credits: Peter Louis GUME / AFP

On 3 September 2021, a number of embassies (US, UK, EU, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden) issued a joint statement, on the occasion of the inauguration of the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States which took place on 30 August 2021, to express their concerns over violence against protesters, harassment of journalists and media organisations as well as arrests of civil society representatives.

The joint statement was issued on the same day Amnesty International NGO called on the South Sudanese government to end what it called a “new wave of repression”. 

South Sudan, which gained its independence in 2011 from Sudan, has a history of limiting freedom of the press, including harassment and arbitrary detention of journalists when authorities disapprove of their work.. 

Three media workers were arrested on 27 August and some radio stations were shut down. Rights groups also reported internet disruptions ahead of civil protests that took place on 30 August.

IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger, said: “The South Sudanese Government must comply with its obligations regarding human rights and press freedom. We remain vigilant to ensure that the recent attacks against media freedom are not repeated."

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 146 countries

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