Media asked to prioritize reporting sexual violence crimes in the country

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Journalists in South Sudan have been asked to prioritize coverage of crimes of sexual violence in the ongoing conflict in the country.

Journalists in South Sudan have been asked to prioritize coverage of crimes of sexual violence in the ongoing conflict in the country.

 

The call was made by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Ms. Zainab Bangura, during a meeting with members of AMDISS and the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) in Juba on Wednesday.

Ms. Bangura told the media leadership that impunity for sexual violence must end and not go unpunished.

The team of journalists led by Alfred Taban, the Editor in Chief of Juba Monitor Newspaper, said that there are difficulties in accessing police records, which makes reporting on sexual violence in South Sudan a difficult.

“As journalists, the culture of impunity is very widespread and that makes journalists face so many problems. When they try to cover sexual violence against women, many of the government officials are not really interested in resolving this. They don’t feel that the journalists have a role to play in that,” he said.

Taban said getting access to information about rape or violence from the police is not easy. He said the police are not always willing to share their records with journalists, and so the media cannot report on any of the cases that have been reported to the police.

Participants in the meeting said lack of media law was another major problem in South Sudan, and the journalist’s right to access records as guaranteed by constitution not being respected by state authorities.

With the recently signed media law, journalists are hopeful that these rights will be respected and access to information will be granted.

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