Sunday, June 16, 2024

South Sudan Arrests Journalists Over President’s Viral Video

Immigration News

Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahi
Nizamuddin Rezahi is a journalist and editor for Khaama Press. You may follow him @nizamrezahi on Twitter.

South Sudan authorities have arrested six journalists alleged for the circulation of footage showing president Salva Kiir wetting himself at a function, according to sources.

A video circulated on social media in December showing Mr. Kiir urinating on himself as the national anthem played during an event, which later become very controversial. Since then, South Sudanese started looking for the people who were behind the scandal. They have arbitrarily detained six employees of the state broadcaster, probably on charges of having knowledge of the video which went viral on social media.  

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other journalist advocacy organizations are now calling for the release of the state broadcasters’ employees. On the contrary, the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) says the footage was never aired.

South Sudan Union of Journalists in a fresh statement called on the government for a speedy conclusion to the investigation of the detained journalists. The statement said that the journalists are suspected of having knowledge of the video which went viral on the internet.

South Sudanese officials have said that common people should wait to know why the journalists were detained. The government decides the charges of the detained media workers.

Rights groups and journalist advocacy organizations have repeatedly called on the South Sudan government to stop harassing journalists and media workers.

Mr. Kiir has been South Sudan’s only president since the country was separated from Sudan in 2011. The presidential election was recently postponed again, this time to late 2024, amid the slow implementation of a 2018 peace deal ending a five-year civil war.

Since its establishment in 2011, the youngest African state has been wrestling with critical challenges including political turmoil, instability, poverty, and natural disaster.  

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