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press freedom

Date Snippet Page
2014/07/07 Security forces confiscate the daily print run of the Citizen newspaper. Editor Nhial Bol Aken believes this is partly because it included a discussion of federalism, and partly because he refused a request to report to security offices, bringing others with him. Snippet: Security forces confiscate the daily print run of the Citizen newspape....
2014/07/02 The National Security Service confiscates the day’s print run of the Juba Monitor newspaper, apparently because it is covering the debate over federalism. However, the Presidential Spokesman and the Information Minister had reasserted that media were free to cover the issue of federalism. Snippet: The National Security Service confiscates the day’s print run of the....
2014/05/22 GRSS has set up a taskforce to help draft a media bill. It includes representatives of various kinds of civil society group. The Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mark Nyipuoc, says that the aim is to 'reform and reposition the media' to serve democracy and development through transparency and people-driven access to information. Snippet: GRSS has set up a taskforce to help draft a media bill. It includes re....
2013/12 to 2014/04 Security officials seized the entire print run of the Juba Monitor newspaper four times between 15 December and late April, when it ran stories critical of President Kiir, according to its editor, Alfred Taban. Snippet 1883
2014/03/11 Information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth states that broadcasting or publishing interviews of rebel leaders in South Sudan violates the law because it is an offence against the state and the state is a person in law. Snippet 1606
2013/12/06 GRSS makes attempts to suppress media coverage of press conference critical of President Kiir. Security personnel warn journalists against broadcasting or publishing on the event, and copies of Al Masir and Juba Monitor are later confiscated. Snippet
2014/03 The WBGS state assembly and the state branch of UJOSS criticize the state government for attempting to stop the media reporting the assembly's voting out of the state finance minister. Snippet
2014/03/05 In the aftermath of Juba barracks shooting panic, information minister Michael Makuei warns that media houses which disturb the government will face penalties. Snippet
2014/02 ‘Numerous journalists have been assaulted or have received death threats in South Sudan after publishing reports that contradict the government’s message' and many have stopped writing, particularly since the 15 December rebellion, according to a report in The Niles. Snippet: ‘Numerous journalists have been assaulted or hav....
2013/10/15 GOSS orders restrictions on public-owned media in their coverage of matters related to the forthcoming referendum in Abyei. Snippet
2013/10/03 The SPLM caucus in Unity state admits journalists from government-run Bentiu FM 99, but not the aid-agency-run Miraya FM and Naath FM. Snippet
2012 to 2013 UJOSS (the Union of Journalists of South Sudan), together with AMDISS (Association of Media Development in South Sudan) have been organizing national and state-level dialogue with security agencies, including the SPLA's Directorate of Information and Moral Orientation. UJOSS has registered more than 20 incidents of trouble between journalists and security agencies in 2013, but its chairperson says that in general it is a problem of 'misunderstanding'. Snippet
2013/09 The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) joins the Federation of African Journalists, a move which is expected to help it promote press standards and rights. Snippet
2013/08/16 The Cabinet resolves not to allow public media officials to attend its meetings, as they had been doing since 2006. This comes at the end of a week in which journalists were journalists were excluded from the parliamentary vetting of new ministers, and in which the new minister of information and broadcasting warned media he would not tolerate those who 'write about anything'. Snippet
2013/08 Dialogue between representatives of media and National Security is being organized in various states by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) and the Association of Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS). Snippet
2012/12 to 2013/07 Various cases are reported of harassment of journalists in recent months (including possibly illegal detentions and death threats), mainly by members of the National Security Service and mainly in Upper Nile State. Snippet 1051
2013/07/25 Two journalists are detained by security personnel in Upper Nile, which they say is part of a general pattern of intimidation of the independent press there. Snippet 1030
2012/12/05 Journalist Isaiah Abraham is murdered Snippet 620
2012/08 GOSS spokesperson describes McClatchy correspondent as “in the pay of Khartoum”, thus possibly putting him at risk (ST 10 Aug) Snippet 502
Reference Mini-review
RSF, 2014/07/11. Bibliography item: RSF (2014/07/11) "Media freedom on hold in South Sudan because of civil war". (Article). Reporters Without Borders. [Article] Reporters Without Borders. Accessed online.

Provides current details of restrictions on press freedom.

US Department of State, 2014. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013: South Sudan [Report] US Department of State. Accessed online.

Lengthy, careful and systematic (though inevitably not comprehensive) account of human rights practices, cagegorized by: (1) respect for the integrity of the person; (2) respect for civil liberties; (3) respect for political rights; (4) corruption and lack of transparency in government; (5) governmental attitude to human rights investigations; (6) discrimination, societal abuses and trafficking in persons; and (7) worker rights.

IRIN, 2013/02/15. Free speech at stake in South Sudan [Article] IRIN Humanitarian News and Analysis. Accessed online.

Brief and accessible introduction to the problem, mentioning the cases of the murder of Isaiah Abraham, the harrassment of Mading Ngor, the killing of Wau protestors and detention of SSTV journalists in December 2012, intimidating warnings by government officials, and delays in the passing of media laws which might help protect journalists.

Mading Ngor, 2013/02/02. From oppressed to persecuted press [Article] The New Sudan Vision. Accessed online.

A well-known journalist argues, with reference to some recent cases, that violations of press freedom have become systematic.

Reporters Without Borders, 2013. World press freedom index 2013 [Report] Reporters Without Borders. Accessed online.

The World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders ranks South Sudan down 13 places at 124th (out of 179) for the period December 2011 to November 2012. This is described as 'after the murder of a columnist – the first killing of its kind in the new country – as news organizations and journalists awaited the approval of three new laws on the media'  (although the journalist referred to - Isaiah Abraham - was actually killed in December 2012).

Mapuor Malual Manguen, 2012/09/14. All talk, no action: Why media freedom in South Sudan is still a dream [Article] The Niles. Accessed online.

Indicator values are shown in the table below alongside the year for which they were assessed. For further information, click on the source and 'details' text. Put the cursor over the indicator values to see selected comparisons.

Year Indicator Value Details
World Press Freedom Rank (Ranking out of 179 countries)
Stat 983
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