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In South Sudan, journalists discuss hardships and brainstorm solutions

AMDISS

This statement was originally published by AMDISS on 24 October 2016.

"You people are very quick in responding to human rights violations," Alfred Taban told members of the CSOs [civil society organisations]/CBOs [community based organisations] during a two-day awareness raising workshop that took place at AMDISS Head Office in Juba from October 20th-21st, 2016, which brought together twenty one (21) members of CSOs/CBOs representing different institutions.

“When I was arrested, you people were the first to advocate for my rights and also were the first to call for my release and that of other journalists who were in detention. You did better than my colleagues in the media. You [in] civil society [are] agents for positive change."

Alfred Taban, Chairperson of AMDISS, made these remarks during the opening of a two-day workshop for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)/ Community Based Organizations (CBOs) on media laws awareness raising under the theme "Civil Society Support for Freedom of Expression, Information and Media," organized by the Association for Media Development In South Sudan (AMDISS) with support from Norwegian People's Aid (NPA)

AMDISS organized the workshop to enhance CSOs/CBOs' knowledge of the media laws, and to improve their support for the implementation of these laws. The workshop also explained the principles of freedom of opinion and expression as entrenched in the National Transitional Constitution of 2011 and international and regional treaties. It also analysed the roles and responsibilities of CSOs/CBOs in the new legal dynamics of South Sudan.

The workshop – according to most of the participants – was an eye opener and an opportunity for them to learn more about the media laws and the structures of the bodies that govern these laws. Participants also shared their experiences and hardships they have been facing in relation to freedom of expression and access to information during the course of their duties. The workshop concluded by forming a task force spearheaded by AMDISS to monitor and push for the implementation of the media laws.

The two-day workshop was facilitated by four professional lawyers with good experience in both national and international instruments on legal frameworks of freedom of expression, information and media.

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