SOUTH SUDAN / WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

03-May-2017 00:02:47
The UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), and others commemorated World Press Freedom Day in Juba under the theme Freedom of Expression to Promote Peace, Just and Inclusive Society. UNMISS
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STORY: SOUTH SUDAN / WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY
TRT: 02:47
SOURCE: UNMISS
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH

DATELINE: 03 MAY 2017, JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN
SHOTLIST
1. Various shot, meeting room
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Sardar Umar Alam, Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to South Sudan:
“At UNESCO we believe that for safety and protection of journalists in South Sudan we have to look at the existing laws and come up with policies and result oriented implementation plan to tackle impunity, intimidation. To prove safety of journalists and in order to pursue these, the situation demands an inclusive engagement of all stakeholders including security forces and judiciary. And one of the steps is to have an effective mechanism in place based on the principles of human rights.”
3. Med shot, meeting room
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Stefano De Leo, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to South Sudan:
“We call for accountability on those who intimidate, harass and arbitrarily detain journalists, human rights defenders, media actors, and any individuals for their opinions.”
5. Med shot, Journalist
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Justin Aleer, Undersecretary South Sudan Ministry of Information:
“The government of the Republic of South Sudan, under the leadership of his excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, guarantees the protection to all the citizens of South Sudan. And we cherished it because it is that freedom that we fought for. It will be unthinkable that the same government that fought over forty years of independence to come today and oppress and suppress its own people. But we are saying let’s express our freedom, let’s work in our profession of journalism with responsibility.”
7. Med shot, journalists working
8. SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General to South Sudan
“Too often these days journalists are been prevented from doing their job, are being threatened, and killed. Many journalists have lost their lives in South Sudan, including John Gatluak who was killed during the violence in July last year. Others were raped and abused in the same incident. These actions should be condemned by us all. They also include some journalists from the UN. We have a journalist who has been detained, and many others have been detained and are still being held in detention right now. It has been reported that the Government has just shut down Al Jazeera English and journalists from outside of South Sudan are being denied entry to this country.”
9. Various shots, South Sudan traditional dance
STORYLINE
The UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), and others commemorated World Press Freedom Day today (3 May) in Juba under the theme Freedom of Expression to Promote Peace, Just and Inclusive Society.

During the event Sardar Umar from UNESCO reiterated the need to promote safety and protection of journalists. He also stressed the commitment of UNESCO to South Sudanese journalists.

“At UNESCO we believe that for safety and protection of journalists in South Sudan we have to look at the existing laws and come up with policies and result oriented implementation plan to tackle impunity, intimidation. To prove safety of journalists and in order to pursue these, the situation demands an inclusive engagement of all stakeholders including security forces and judiciary. And one of the steps is to have an effective mechanism in place based on the principles of human rights.”

Addressing journalists during the event, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to South Sudan called for accountability on the intimidation, harassment, and detention of journalists.

SOUNDBITE (English) Stefano De Leo, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to South Sudan:
“We call for accountability on those who intimidate, harass and arbitrarily detain journalists, human rights defenders, media actors, and any individuals for their opinions.”

On behalf of the government of South Sudan, the Undersecretary of South Sudan’s Ministry of Information, Justin Aleer, said the government of the Republic of South Sudan “guarantees the protection to all the citizens of South Sudan."

SOUNDBITE (English) Justin Aleer, Undersecretary South Sudan Ministry of Information:
“The government of the Republic of South Sudan, under the leadership of his excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, guarantees the protection to all the citizens of South Sudan. And we cherished it because it is that freedom that we fought for. It will be unthinkable that the same government that fought over forty years of independence to come today and oppress and suppress its own people. But we are saying let’s express our freedom, let’s work in our profession of journalism with responsibility.”

Earlier in the day, the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General, David Shear, said “too often these days journalists are been prevented from doing their job are being threatened and killed.”

SOUNDBITE (English) David Shearer, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary General to South Sudan
“Too often these days journalists are been prevented from doing their job, are being threatened, and killed. Many journalists have lost their lives in South Sudan, including John Gatluak who was killed during the violence in July last year. Others were raped and abused in the same incident. These actions should be condemned by us all. They also include some journalists from the UN. We have a journalist who has been detained, and many others have been detained and are still being held in detention right now. It has been reported that the Government has just shut down Al Jazeera English and journalists from outside of South Sudan are being denied entry to this country.”

An assessment based on UNESCO’s Journalists’ Safety Indicators, details the threats facing journalists in South Sudan for the period between 2015 and 2016. It is divided into five key indicator categories, namely; a broad overview of the safety situation in the country; findings on the roles and response of State and political actors; the roles and response of civil society organizations (CSOs) and academia; the roles and response of media and intermediaries; and the roles and response of the United Nations (UN) system and other extra-national actors with a presence in the country.
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