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Parliament urged to withdraw warning against journalists

By No. 1 Citizen


Association for Media Development in South Sudan (ADMISS) has urged parliament’s spokesperson to withdraw a recent statement threatening g journalists against reporting criticism of the head of state.

The spokesperson for the national parliament, Oliver Mori Benjamin had warned against reporting any criticisms of the head of state made by lawmakers.

Mori’s warning follows a heated assembly debate on Monday, May 27th where a legislator criticized the endorsement of President Kiir’s candidacy at the Greater Equatoria SPLM Rally for the December elections when the country is facing serious economic crisis.

The MP argued that it wasn’t shame for such a huge occasion to be staged while the country is contending with serious economic crisis and citizens are struggling to survive amid hardship.

Mori urged media houses to stop reporting MP’s critics or any statements made by lawmakers considered derogatory to the symbol of the country or the government authority, cautioning that any journalist who report ‘will bear the consequences of his or her action”

This warning has been strongly criticized by the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (ADMISS) and civil society organizations.

“AMDISS considers Hon. Mori’s warning as a clear intimidation of journalists and media houses as well as a restriction to freedom of expression and civic space,” partly read a statement issued by ADMISS on Thursday.

“In the spirit of promoting dialogue in South Sudan and creating space for journalists to do their work, AMDISS strongly urges Hon. Mori to withdraw his warning and refrain from using rude words against the media,” it added.

The Centre for Peace and Advocacy (CPA) also condemned Mori’s statements.

“This bill outlines the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals and groups, which must be respected, upheld, and promoted by all government bodies and agencies, as well as by all individuals within the country,” it noted in a statement.


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