South Sudanese private satellite channel owner and journalist, Neil Paul has said that press freedom in South Sudan is under threat on Friday. He placed the blame on the developing countries corrupt security forces and the current political conflict between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and the Vice President Riek Machar.
Paul, the owner of Citizen TV satellite channel, told Arabstoday that a high-profile official in South Sudan’s Interior Ministry demanded that the channel broadcast advertisement’s promoting the vice president. Paul refused to comply with the demands as the campaign was not formal. The channel owner claims he was threatened with weapons after expressing his refusal.
He added that a security official came to his office late on Thursday, asking him to take copies of pamphlets promoting the vice president to be published in his newspaper. Paul asserted that “the media must remain objective and events must be covered without bias.”
A spokesperson for South Sudan’s government has denied the accusations made claiming violations against freedom of the press. He added that the government has not interfered with any broadcasting channels or newspapers. During a phone call to Arabstoday, the official said the parliament intends to pass a new law protecting media and journalism in South Sudan next week.