News / Africa

S. Sudan Gives 'Advice' But Doesn't Question Journalists: Official

A spokesman for South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, shown here at a regional summit on South Sudan in Addis Ababa, says no journalists have been questioned by National Security.
A spokesman for South Sudanese President Salva Kiir, shown here at a regional summit on South Sudan in Addis Ababa, says no journalists have been questioned by National Security.
South Sudanese presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said Monday that government security officials have never brought in journalists for questioning, but occasionally offer them advice.

Speaking days after Information Minister  Michael Makuei told VOA that journalists who broadcast or publish interviews with rebels inside South Sudan were committing an offense, Ateny told South Sudan in Focus host John Tanza by telephone from Juba, "To be honest with you, National Security has never actually questioned any journalists,"

"Because, what I know, all the journalists that are accredited here in South Sudan, whenever they have any problems, the National Security will always call me. I have not received any calls regarding anyone that has been stopped by National Security,"  he said.

But, he added, some journalists are brought in to National Security offices "to receive an advice because some journalists are very irresponsible and they write very irresponsibly."

Ateny cited the example of an Al Jazeera journalist who early on in the now three-month-old conflict in South Sudan reported that rebel forces were closing in on Juba.

The report, which proved to be untrue, "caused panic", Ateny said, and the Al Jazeera reporter "was asked to leave the country."

Ateny insisted that the government of South Sudan "is not harassing journalists but the journalists are very irresponsible."

"Some media is acting very irresponsibly, like those who are publishing articles written by rebels or those making interviews with rebels who are saying we are going to capture this city or that. These are some of the things that the law will have to deal with them," he said.

He said that freedom of speech, which is guaranteed under South Sudan's constitution, "has limitations."

"We have not yet provided for limitations within our enacted laws and this is what we are working to ensure that the limitations come clearly so that those who are operating in South Sudan look at those limitations. We cannot as a sovereign country... be dictated to by those who want to pass their own agenda," he said.

Listen to extracts from John Tanza's interview with Ateny by clicking on the link below.


Thirteen months ago, South Sudan

Several weeks later, veteran journalist Alfred Taban was detained and questioned over an opinion piece published in his paper that was critical of a former state governor.

Days before South Sudan was plunged into violence when fighting erupted in Juba on Dec. 15, Taban and another newspaper editor, Nhial Bol, said security officials seized their newspapers' print runs and brought Nhial in for questioning.

Taban said later he was told that his paper was confiscated "because we had published (coverage of) the press conference held the day before by the First Deputy Chairman of the SPLM, Dr. Riek Machar," at which the former vice president, who was sacked by President Salva Kiir in a government reshuffle in July, was critical of Kiir.

Machar was accused by Kiir of launching an abortive coup in December, plunging South Sudan into months of violence, which continued after a ceasefire was signed on January 23. Machar, who has denied the accusation, fled into hiding when the fighting broke out.

You May Like

Ukraine: Mysterious 'Roaming Tank' Reportedly Takes Aim at Smugglers

Ukraine's TV, print media, Facebook abuzz with reports a 'roaming tank' is on the loose, destroying vehicles of those involved in smuggling More

US Wildlife Service Begins Probe of Killing of Cecil the Lion

Minnesota man accused of killing beast is in hiding, has been asked to contact US officials; White House to review extradition petition More

Video Kerry Tour Will Cover Security, Iran Nuclear Deal

US secretary of state to visit 5 countries in the Middle East, South Asia in bid to strengthen economic and security ties, ease concerns over deal with Tehran More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs