Media watchdogs condemn closure of Nation Mirror newspaper

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Three media watchdogs have today denounced the indefinite closure of the Nation Mirror newspaper by South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS).
In separate statements, the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX), the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS) and Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on authorities in South Sudan to immediately reopen the Nation Mirror, which was ordered closed yesterday by NSS.
According to AMDISS, security officials summoned the management of the Nation Mirror newspaper to its offices and ordered the paper to cease publication with immediate effect without giving any reason for the closure.
This is not the first time that the NSS has closed down media organisations for critical reporting on issues affecting the government. In 2015, the NSS closed down about five media organisations.
In February 2015, National Security Service agents seized a print run of Nation Mirror and issued a banned the newspaper from publication after the paper was accused of printing anti-government reports.
“The decision to close down the Nation Mirror is a serious threat to freedom of expression and of the press. It is also a clear sign of intimidation to scare the media fraternity in South Sudan from doing its work,” said a statement from AMDISS.
The CPJ reported that Paul Jacob Kumbo, South Sudan's director general of information said he did not know why the paper was closed or how long it would remain shuttered.
Meanwhile, AMDISS, through its chairperson Alfred Taban, has called on security agents to leave all matters related to media to the Media Authority to handle.
The media in South Sudan has come under attack since the outbreak of the civil war in December 2013. Journalists and media professionals have had to run away from the country for their own safety.


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