The IFJ Strongly Condemns Murder of Online Journalist in South Sudan

 

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today strongly condemned

the killing of an online journalist in South Sudan. Diing Chan Awuol was shot

dead on Wednesday in a suburb of the capital of South Sudan, Juba.

 

“We denounce the murder

of journalist Diing Chan Awuol. This murder sends a bad sign that the South Sudan

Government is not ready to protect the Safety of Journalists, and the   democratic values such as freedom of the press

and expression. We call on the South Sudan Government  to take immediate and appropriate measures in

safeguarding a peaceful environment for advocates and defenders of the freedoms

of the press, expression and information,” said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa

director.

 

Credible information sources from South Sudan confirmed the killing, saying that Diing Chan Awuol, nicknamed Isaiah Abraham

and 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 on the morning of Wednesday 5 December. Sources quoted local

witnesses as saying that the victim was shot in the face after being lured to

come outside his house by unknown gun men.

 

Family members also said that he had received threats by the phone and an

ultimatum saying that “he was either to stop writing or face the consequences

of not complying with the demand”.

 

 

The IFJ warns against

entrenchment of the culture of impunity in South Sudan if this crime is not

solved quickly. The country is among the five nations, along with Iraq, Mexico,

Nepal and Pakistan, where the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the

safety of journalists will start. This killing comes at a time where press

freedom advocacy groups are reporting of worrying trends regarding media

freedom in South Sudan after months of social and political unrest in the

country following the government’s decision to suspend oil production after

disagreements over pipeline fees with the Sudanese government in north.

 

“There is a need for

immediate and remedial action in order to create deterrence for violence

against journalists in South Soudan,” added Baglo. “Failure to act will only

make journalists easy targets and put the blame for future attacks squarely on

the government’s door.”

 

For more information, please contact IFJ:  +221 33 867 95 86

The IFJ represents over 600.000 journalists in 134 countries