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Newspaper issue confiscated following coverage of press conference in South Sudan

Salva Kiir Mayardit, current President of South Sudan, outlines a multipoint plan for development in the lead up to and after independence in Juba, 8 February 2011.
Salva Kiir Mayardit, current President of South Sudan, outlines a multipoint plan for development in the lead up to and after independence in Juba, 8 February 2011.

AP Photo/Pete Muller

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemns the confiscation of the Arabic version of Almasier newspaper, by security bodies in South Sudan on 7 December 2013. The publication had covered a press conference that was opposed to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Some leaders of the ruling party in South Sudan convened a press conference last Friday to voice their opinions about the political situation. They slammed the president of South Sudan and called for taking a series of procedures to reform the party. The newspaper had only done its work by publishing the events of the press conference, while security bodies confiscated that day's newspaper issue and summoned its editor-in-chief and managing director.

Such an act was not the first of its kind, as Almasier newspaper has faced many security harassments in the past. After South Sudan separated in 2011, Almasier's editor-in-chief was arrested and the English version was banned.

"South Sudan's government, which had been complaining [about] Omar Bashir's repressive procedures for many years, now uses the same repressive procedures in order to gag the newspapers and media outlets as well as to harm them financially though confiscating their issues; leading to their closure," said ANHRI.

ANHRI has warned South Sudan's government of tightening the noose on freedom and suppressing the opposition. However, the experiences of its neighbor in the region affirm that security solutions lead to more opposing voices.

ANHRI calls on authorities in South Sudan to suspend the censorship on publication and the confiscation of newspapers and media outlets.

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