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Journalists asked to advocate for justice

Journalists asked to advocate for justice
Majak Kuany Alier, UJOSS secretary general | Credit | Daniel Garang Deng/TRC

To hold perpetrators responsible for crimes against journalists, journalists should advocate for justice, the Union of Journalist of South Sudan (UJOSS) has said.

Majak Kuany Alier, UJOSS secretary general, made the remarks ahead of the commemoration of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

He argued that all journalists should be calling on the authorities to make sure that they answer to circumstances where journalists have killed.

Majak says killing is the biggest harassment, currently there are 12 Journalist that have killed in South Sudan, of which 11 are South Sudanese and 1 foreign, they have never been accounted for.

“Early this year, seven journalists were arrested, taken to the blue house and detained for nearly 2 months. Due to advocacy call, they were released. But unfortunately, no one was tried to prove they are guilty or not guilty,” he stated.

“So, the authorities have to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes.”

To address all the impunity for crimes against journalists, the media authority – the media regulatory body in South Sudan – should reign for accountability and justice.

“It is a collective responsibility for justice to prevail in the media, but this can be attained if the media authorities take the overall responsibility,” he continued.

On August 11, City Review and Eye Radio journalists’ gadgets were confiscated while covering budget draft sitting at the parliament.

This, Majak said, was against freedom of the press and for a country to be democratic, media freedom is essential.

In addition, Obaj Okaj of Eye Radio said that there is a need to train security personnel on the importance and power of media.

“We are not causing any security threats to them, because our duty is to inform the public about what’s happening through the country. There should be culture of respect to freedom of speech and press,” the senior reporter argued.

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013, which proclaimed the 2 November as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists (IDEI).

Since then, global commemorations of IDEI serve as a unique opportunity to highlight the threats against journalists and reporters.

Such actors, including UN agencies, regional bodies, U.N. Member States, members of the judiciary system, civil society organizations and the media, play a vital role to ensure accountability and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers.