JUBA – A media watchdog is accusing the government of President Salva Kiir Mayardit of continuing its intimidation and surveillance against the country’s press taking South Sudan one step backward in the press freedom ranking.
In a report it released last week, French-based Reporters Without Borders – or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) – said South Sudan’s press freedom ranking has declined from 138 last year, to 139.
The report says the regime in South Sudan has continued to use ‘close surveillance and intimidation’ as its predatory methods and also cited reported censorship of contents against print media based in the country.
“Close surveillance and intimidation are also part of the regime’s predatory methods, and security agents often go directly to printing presses to censor content,” the report seen by Sudans Post reads in part.
It said government security apparatuses have also censored articles of the Juba-based Arabic Al-Mouqif newspaper in 2019 and have also tried to force a radio station manager to submit his scripts of interview to the security before they are aired.
“Several of the newspaper Al-Mouqif’s articles were censored in this manner in 2019. The intelligence agencies also tried to get a radio station manager to submit his interviews for approval before broadcasting them,” it said.
“To escape the harassment, some journalists have preferred to flee the country or just close their publications,” it added.
The report further said that “President Salva Kiir’s verbal threats against journalists who ‘work against their country’ in August 2015 were followed three days later by reporter Peter Moi’s murder in Juba.”