News / Africa

S. Sudan Official Says Broadcasting Interviews with Rebels 'An Offense'

South Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth
South Sudanese Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth
John TanzaKarin Zeitvogel
South Sudan Information Minister Michael Makuei has warned reporters not to broadcast or publish interviews with rebel leaders inside South Sudan, saying it would constitute "subversive activity" and put the journalist on the wrong side of the law.

"When you go and interview a rebel who ran away from here and you come and play that interview on government territory, and you know that man is not friendly -- this is not the meaning of journalism," he told VOA in a telephone interview conducted from Washington.

"You interview him outside and publish it, whatever you do, outside, but when you come and disseminate this poisonous information inside South Sudan, it is an offense," said Makuei, a lawyer by profession.

Asked which section of South Sudan's penal code made interviews with rebels an offense, Makuei said, "It is not my duty to tell which law -- go and look for it."
If you step on the toes of others, you are in violation of the law. The toes of others here include the state. The state is a person.

A South Sudanese legal expert told VOA that South Sudan's penal code "does not bar journalists  from broadcasting interviews with rebels."

"Everyone in South Sudan has the right to attain any interview," said the expert, who asked not to be named for reasons of personal safety. 

The expert, who spoke to VOA from an undisclosed country of exile, added  that, unless the country's constitution has been amended recently, it also guarantees South Sudanese the "right to communicate freely."

Makuei said the South Sudanese media "is free, according to the law."

"If you step on the toes of others, you are in violation of the law," the minister said.

"The toes of others here include the state. The state is a person," he said.

To listen to the interview with Makuei, click on the link below.

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by: Lual m. Lual from: Juba
March 21, 2014 2:07 PM
Journalists need tobe impartail not to take side

by: gatkuoth gatduel chuol from: bentiu
March 14, 2014 12:36 PM
we s.sudanese , let us leave killing ours seleves because we are one nation one body. and we are all christians

by: Peter Madut from: South Sudan
March 13, 2014 12:26 PM
Salva Kiir is not dictator as you said and he didn't fail but those fail his government are those whom your most corrupted and dictated son known by entirely East Africa Countries. Shout your mouth you look your country Kenya. do you think to forgery election is democracy or killing and steeling the ballot vote is that democracy. Kenya one day would not be democratic country because of your hatred to another tribes like Lou.

by: bilkayluri from: Kenya
March 13, 2014 8:51 AM
This is dictator gov't of south they need lies that supports failure kiir regime .as mention in constitution of south Sudan it's allow freedom of expression .

by: mary from: u s a
March 12, 2014 7:52 PM
Ezekiel 13:22-23 ERV

“‘You prophets tell lies. Your lies hurt good people—I did not want to hurt them! You support the wicked and encourage them. You don’t tell them to change their lives. You don’t try to save their lives! So you will not see any more useless visions or do any more magic. I will save my people from your power, and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

by: mary from: u s a
March 12, 2014 7:48 PM
Ezekiel 13:15-23 ERV

I will finish showing my anger against the wall and those who put plaster on it. Then I will say, ‘There is no wall, and there are no workers to put plaster on it.’ “All these things will happen to the false prophets of Israel. They speak to the people of Jerusalem and say there will be peace, but there is no peace.” This is what the Lord GOD said. God said, “Son of man, look at the women prophets in Israel. They say the things they want to say, so you must speak against them for me. You must say this to them: ‘This is what the Lord GOD says: Bad things will happen to you women. You sew cloth bracelets for people to wear on their arms. You make special scarves for people to wear on their heads. You say those things have magic powers to control people’s lives. You trap the people only to keep yourselves alive! You make them think I am not important. You turn them against me for a few handfuls of barley and a few scraps of bread. You tell lies to my people. They love to listen to lies. You kill those who should live, and you let people live who should die. So this is what the Lord GOD says to you: You make those cloth bracelets to trap people, but I will set them free. I will tear those bracelets off your arms, and the people will be free from you. They will be like birds flying from a trap. And I will tear up those scarves and save my people from your power. They will escape from your trap, and you will know that I am the Lord. “‘You prophets tell lies. Your lies hurt good people—I did not want to hurt them! You support the wicked and encourage them. You don’t tell them to change their lives. You don’t try to save their lives! So you will not see any more useless visions or do any more magic. I will save my people from your power, and you will know that I am the Lord.’”

by: mary from: u s a
March 12, 2014 7:24 PM
Isaiah 28:1-10 NIVUK

Woe to that wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards, to the fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley – to that city, the pride of those laid low by wine! See, the Lord has one who is powerful and strong. Like a hailstorm and a destructive wind, like a driving rain and a flooding downpour, he will throw it forcefully to the ground. That wreath, the pride of Ephraim’s drunkards, will be trampled underfoot. That fading flower, his glorious beauty, set on the head of a fertile valley, will be like figs ripe before harvest – as soon as people see them and take them in hand, they swallow them. In that day the Lord Almighty will be a glorious crown, a beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people. He will be a spirit of justice to the one who sits in judgment, a source of strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate. And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions. All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth. ‘Who is it he is trying to teach? To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, to those just taken from the breast? For it is: do this, do that, a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there.’

by: Chief Brown Bol from: Warrap state south Sudan
March 12, 2014 3:04 PM
Who is Michael Makuei Lueith to ban journalist from interviews rebel leader or anyone against their selfishness and dictionary leadership? Rebel are citizens of the south Sudan, therefore they have right to say anything against his government (Makuei).

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