UJOSS demands return of confiscated equipment to journalists
JUBA – The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) has demanded the return of equipment confiscated from three Journalists working for Radio Jonglei 95.9 FM in Bor-Town.
This comes after officers alleged to be from the National Security Service stormed the radio station’s premises in Jonglei on Friday and ordered for the indefinite closure of the station.
In the process, the officers took communication devices of the workers who were found at the station.
In a statement, UJOSS said the action creates an environment of fear to journalists and complicates their work.
“These actions undermine the work of journalists, threaten and intimidate them and as well infringe on the right to freedom of expression and access to information found in South Sudan Transitional Constitution 2011 as amended [in] Articles 24 and 32 respectively,” says UJOSS President Oyet Patrick Charles.
The devices confiscated were phones for Mr. Matuor Mabior Anyang, the Station Manager, Mr. Ayuen Garang Kur, the Program Manager, and Mr. Deng Ghai Deng, Editor-in-Chief who were arrested and detained in Jonglei State capital, Bor.
However, according to Ayuen Garang Kur, one of the journalists who were detained told City Review that they were released and they are safe. But their gadgets were not given back.
“As per yesterday’s incident with the NSS, our gadgets are still confiscated, only one of our colleague’s phone Deng Ghai Deng, Editor-in-Chief, is taken by the security but everything, our personal computers, and the station computers are all locked in the station and the station is still locked up to now [Saturday], the security has locked it with their own padlock and they have taken the key,” Garang explained.
Kur says that there has been no intervention from the state government as of Saturday.
“No support from any [state] government official. They are just keeping quiet; it is only today that our station manager has gone to meet the Deputy Governor of Jonglei State and we are now waiting to hear from him,” he said.
UNJOSS, a body that fights for the rights and protection of journalists in the country has repeatedly condemned unlawful attacks on journalists and called on authorities to raise concerns with the Media Authority when offended.
There has also been maximum cooperation between UJOSS, the Media Authority, and members of the National Security Service. Earlier this month, NSS released a journalist working for SSBC after the intervention of UJOSS through the Media Authority.