The German Federal Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Christoph Straesser, expressed his increasing concern about violence and intimidation against journalists, independent media and the civil society in South Sudan.
The news of the death of journalist Peter Julius Moi, who was shot dead in Juba, has shocked me deeply. In addition he is not the only journalist who became a victim of deadly violence since beginning of this year,” he says.
of an open debate
is in particular
counterproductive regarding the national peace process in
Straesser also criticises the closure of the newspapers Citizen” and Al Ray” by the government of South Sudan earlier this month. It cannot be that people who are committed to peaceful coexistence, transparency and truth are persecuted and intimidated,” he says.
I call on the South Sudanese government to respect press freedom, freedom of opinion and freedom of expression and to guarantee journalists the free practice of their profession and physical integrity,” Straesser says.
He further says: The suppression of an open debate is in particular counterproductive regarding the national peace process in South Sudan.”
He requests South Sudan’s government to respect human rights” and to return to peace, democratisation and economic development”.
Since December 2013 South Sudan witnesses a violent conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar.
On Wednesday, August 20, journalist Peter Julius Moi was killed, shot twice in the back. An investigation has reportedly been opened but there are no reports of arrests so far.
Numerous journalists who had called for an immediate peace agreement and the involvement of civil society in the government of national unity received threats and were asked to adjust their coverage.
The South Sudanese government also closed a radio station and two newspapers beginning of August.