Human rights office expresses concern following murder of South Sudan bloggerListen /
The UN human rights office has welcomed South Sudan's decision to investigate the murder of a journalist which took place earlier this month.
Diing Chan Awol, a local blogger and well-known political commentator, was killed outside his home by unidentified gunmen on 5 December.
According to his family, Awol—who was also known by his pen name Isaiah Abraham—had received numerous death threats and a clear ultimatum to stop writing or face the consequences.
Spokesperson Rupert Colville says the UN human rights office has welcomed the fact that South Sudan's President Salva Kiir has ordered the security services to conduct a "thorough investigation" into the matter.
"In addition to this tragic silencing of a prominent public commentator, during the past six months there have also been similar attempts to intimidate local human rights activists belonging to the South Sudan Civil Society Alliance—that's an alliance of NGOs. Two members of the alliance have been kidnapped and badly beaten by unidentified armed men. One of the two men, Mr. Ring Bulabuk, who is a leading human rights and civil society activist, was kidnapped in October, and subjected to torture. Before his kidnap, the victim publicly criticized corruption practices by senior government officials."
The UN human rights office has urged the government to take remedial action on this incident by showing its readiness to protect the safety of journalists and human rights activists.
Dianne Penn, United Nations.