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South Sudan shuts down newspaper...without an explanation

A displaced man reads a newspaper at Tomping camp, in Juba, South Sudan, 10 January 2014
A displaced man reads a newspaper at Tomping camp, in Juba, South Sudan, 10 January 2014

REUTERS/Andreea Campeanu

This statement was originally published by amdissmedia.org on 15 September 2016.

The Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) strongly condemns the indefinite closure of The Nation Mirror English daily newspaper by the South Sudan National Security.

Yesterday, the 14th of September 2016, the management of The Nation Mirror newspaper was summoned by the South Sudan National Security Head Office at Jebel, in Juba, and was told to cease publication with immediate effect. According to the newspaper management, no reason was given for the shutdown.

The decision to close down The Nation Mirror came a few weeks after the paper was summoned by security. At least two of their articles were removed on different occasions by security before being printed at the Ganesh Printing Press in Juba.

The closure of The Nation Mirror is a serious threat to freedom of expression and of the press. It is also a clear sign of intimidation to scare the media fraternity in South Sudan from doing its work.

AMDISS is deeply aggrieved at this unacceptable behaviour and calls on the concerned authorities to put an end to this act of interference and create a conducive environment for the media to play its role as a watchdog.

The association also calls on security to re-open the paper immediately and unconditionally and use dialogue to amicably resolve any issue that might have led to the shutdown of the paper.

AMDISS further calls on security to leave all matters related to the media to the Media Authority to handle.

AMDISS is a not-for-profit member-based media organization founded in 2003 by South Sudanese senior journalists to address the news and information void in the country and to improve the capacity of local journalists to respond to the crucial issues of human rights, good governance, freedom of expression and democracy in this emerging nation.

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