Jonglei State, News

Jonglei slams misuse of media freedom

By Mamer Abraham

A press secretary in Jonglei State governor’s office has slammed journalists over misuse of media freedom.

Ruach Wanlow Kong said freedom of expression should not be exercised to allow defamation, hate speech, insults, and propaganda.

“Currently, we are facing an unethical trend when it comes to freedom of expression. Freedom of expression doesn’t give room to defamation, hate speech, insulting, or news fabrication, but rather gives a privilege for the citizens to participate in all developmental processes without interference,” he said.

He warned against disrespect for media laws and ethics, or the state government should make sure that those who misuse freedom of expression are brought before the law.

“Therefore, we are assuring our citizens in Jonglei State and beyond to respect the national legislation of South Sudan media and its limitations; otherwise, justices will send a call out to everyone who will act beyond his or her freedom of expression,” he continued.

Early this month, the chairperson of Jonglei Civil Society Network, Bol Deng Bol, criticized the Jonglei State government over media censorship.

Bol was responding to the statement issued by the Director-General of Jonglei State’s Ministry of Information, Mhamad Chuol Peter, in which he barred public announcements over the radio of road announcements.

Bol said the decision was a breach of constitutional rights to access information and freedom of expression.

“It is surprising to learn that Jonglei State’s Ministry of Information and Communication, in this circular, wants to control announcements and radio talk shows by directing all to obtain approval from the Ministry.

This is a blatant threat to the media fraternity, undermining their freedom and independence. It’s an infringement of the constitutional rights to access information and freedom of expression,” he said in a statement earlier seen by No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper.

“It is imperative, at this juncture, to remind the Information Ministry that regulating the media cannot be achieved through censorship! Instead, this initiative is likely to be used to suppress the voices of civil society and youth activists, including political opposition,” it continued.

The state information ministry later revoked the directive after they conducted a consultative meeting with civil society and vowed to protect media freedom.

Several attacks on media freedom have been witnessed in Jonglei State in recent years, including the shutting down of radio stations.




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