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Security agents warned against harassing journalists

Author: Joakino Francis | Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2019

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA - DECEMBER 21: Angelina Teny the wife of the country's former Vice President Riek Machar participates in the Inter Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Council of Ministers talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on December 21, 2017. The meeting held to revitalize the South Sudanese Peace Agreement. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The Chairperson of the Strategic Defense and Security Review Board has warned security agents against intimidating and harassing journalists in the country.

According to human rights groups, members of the organized forces often make the work of the media difficult by assaulting, intimidating, detaining and even killing journalists.

They say dozens of the journalists have been killed in line of duty while several others have fled into exile fearing for their lives after being threatened with death by security agents, particularly from the National Security Service.

In addition, several media houses have also been shut down by the government for critical coverage of the country’s affairs.

Speaking at an event organized by a civil society organization in Juba – the chairperson of the Strategic Defense and Security Review Board – Angelina Teny, said,

“It amounts to abuse of power, and nobody has the right to hit anybody. Even if you are a security personnel  you have no right to hit anybody. If you hit a journalist, that is physical assault and it is a criminal act. So you should not abuse your power being in uniform to actually abuse journalists.”

The Strategic Defense and Security Review Board is responsible for providing a road map for the security sector transformation, which outlines the details for the unification of the army, and security forces, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration and the security sector reform process.

It is considered as an important aspect of the new peace agreement that will enable South Sudan get a professional army that is answerable to only a civilian authority.

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