Juba- At the opening remarks of a one-day media symposium, the Public Affairs Officer of the US Embassy in South Sudan, Mr. Moulik Berkana, called on the government to protect and safeguard the work of journalists in the country without any interference during their work.
“I call on the government to deliver protection and support to the journalists in the republic of South Sudan to have the right to express their profession without harassment, arbitrary detention and arrest, journalist play an important role in a democratic society.” Said Berkana.
Since South Sudan become independent in July 2011, security forces have regularly intimidated and unlawfully arrested or detained journalists and this has topics come to an end so that journalists and the media are able to do their job freely to serve the citizens with the required information on diverse issues.
Participants at the event posing during a group photo at the opening session on December 16, 2022, at Landmark hotel in Juba
Nevertheless, the Chairperson of the National Press Club South Sudan (NPC-SS) board of directors, Mr. Bullen Kenyi, applauds partners for their support of the organization and the journalists who turn up for the one-day Symposium.
He said that freedom of expression is not only for the media but for everyone in every country. The president of the union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) Mr. Oyet Patrick said there is an improvement in the cooperation between journalists and security personnel compared to some years back when security personnel could come and arrest journalists.
Mr. Patrick assured that now there is no journalist who is in Jail or prison in the country. He further added that there is one journalist who was arrested in Warrap state, Kuajok. When they inquired from the authorities, they were told that the matter was not related to his journalistic work, but the journalist was later released.
At the same event, a police representative, Brig. Hussein David said he is very happy to be invited to the event. He further said the police to reorganize the role of the media in the country when it comes to law and order, the media helps them in addressing a number of crimes.
The guest of honor for the event a Member of Parliament (MP) from the Legislative Council of States, Hon: Paulino Lokudu, Said the National Legislature reorganizes the role of the media because the media is the bridge between the citizens and the government.
He stressed that freedom of expression is a constitutional right and must be respected in the country.
The Media Symposium was organized with the aim of enhancing freedom of expression and access to information and drew more than 50 journalists, media managers, members of the diplomatic corps, and journalism students from the University of Juba
The event was marked under the theme: “Promote Press Freedom and Media Independence to enhance Democracy in South Sudan.
The report was filed by Mr. Kajokare Santos Evans.