(Juba, May 3, 2013) – Security force harassment and unlawful detention of journalists is undermining freedom of expression in South Sudan, the Agency for Independent Media (AIM), Amnesty International, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and Human Rights Watch said today, on World Press Freedom Day.
Since South Sudan became independent in July 2011, its security forces have regularly intimidated and unlawfully arrested and detained journalists and editors in connection with the content of their reporting. The organizations are calling for an end to the harassment and have documented multiple cases, many at the hands of South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS), a security organ whose mandate and functions have never been established by law and which does not have any authority to arrest and detain people.
“The South Sudanese authorities have done far too little to end unlawful detention of media workers in recent years,” said Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The government should rein in its security forces and investigate and prosecute all attacks on journalists.”