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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

US Urges Restraint in Hong Kong Protests

Protesters angered by Beijing's decision to only approve candidates that it sanctions for Hong Kong's leadership elections in 2017 More

Archive of Forgotten UCLA Speeches Offers Snapshot of History

Recordings of prominent voices in social change, politics, science and literature from 1960s, early 1970s now available on YouTube 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.
Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenyai
X
Gabe Joselow
September 29, 2014 6:20 PM
Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Video

Video Reconstruction? What Reconstruction? Life After War in Gaza

It’s been a month since Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a ceasefire to end 52 days of an air and tank war that left 60,000 homes in Gaza damaged or destroyed and 110,000 homeless. Sharon Behn reports that lack of reconstruction is leading to despair.
Video

Video US, Saudi Arabia and UAE Hit Islamic State's Oil Revenue

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bombed oil facilities operated by Islamic State militants in Syria. It was a truly collaborative effort, with the two Arab countries dropping the majority of the bombs. The 12 refineries targeted were estimated to generate as much as $2 million per day for the terrorist group. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the story.
Video

Video Russia's Food Sanctions Raise Price Worries, Hopes for Domestic Production

Russia retaliated against Western sanctions imposed for its actions in Ukraine by halting food imports from the West. The temporary import ban on food from Australia, the European Union, Norway and North America has Russian consumers concerned that they could face a sharp increase in food prices. But in an ironic twist, the restrictions aimed at the Kremlin have made Russia's domestic food producers hopeful this can boost their business. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid