Activist condemns threats to shut down UN Radio

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A reknowned civil society activist in the country has condemned the threat issued by the minister for Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei Lueth on Monday to shut down the United Nation’s Radio Miraya.

A reknowned civil society activist in the country has condemned the threat issued by the minister for Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei Lueth on Monday to shut down the United Nation’s Radio Miraya.

 

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) CEO Edmund Yakani says the government should start applying the media laws rather than threatening the media and journalists.

“Using a competent court of law for addressing mistakes is much better than posing threats, intimidation and harassments,” he said in a statement sent to the media.

He says that the recent increase in control of media and journalists in South Sudan is indicating that the freedom of expression is under serious threat, although it is stipulated in our transitional constitution of South Sudan article 24.

“CEPO is urging the ministry of information to handle the government concerns on the performance of the media and journalists in a consultative and productive manner rather than in a confrontational manner. Time has come for the application of the signed media laws,” he said.

While mentioning Miraya Radio specifically, the minister issued a stern warning that any media house that interviews any rebels to disseminate their plans and polices within government-controlled areas will be shut down.

Minister Makuei explained that it has never happened anywhere in the world that views of rebels are disseminated by media houses inside any country.

“If you are behaving like Aljezira and others, am sorry we must shut you down,” warned Makuei, while speaking to journalists. He claimed that is why the Aljazeera journalist (Mahamad Adu) was sent out of South Sudan last time.

He recalled that the last time the government shutdown Eye Radio and gave them a warning. Eye Radio was warned last year by the ministry of Information and Broadcasting for interviewing the rebels chief negotiator Taban Deng Gai from Addis Ababa and disseminating the information.

Journalists who were in the minister’s press conference say he kept referring to the interview which was conducted earlier that morning by Radio Miraya, which aired the widow of the late president Dr. John Garang, Rebecca Garang.

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