UJoSS condemns Warrap State for expelling journalist

UJoSS condemns Warrap State for expelling journalist
UJOSS President Oyet Patrick (photo credit: courtesy)

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJoSS) has called on the Warrap State government to revoke the order expelling the Radio Miraya journalist, Manyang Mayom.

In a statement released on Thursday, Oyet Patrick, the president of UJoSS, said the expulsion undermined articles 24, 27, and 32 of the amended Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011.

The journalist was given a 72-hour ultimatum to leave Warrap State by the area’s government in November.

Oyet stressed that Article 24 of South Sudan’s Constitution talks about freedom of expression, Article 27 talks about freedom of movement and residence, and Article 32 talks about access to information. He said all these had been flouted.

“The UJoSS calls for the revocation of the order of the expulsion of journalist Manyang Mayom,” he said.

The statement read in part, “Governor Hon. Lt. Gen. Aleu Ayieny Aleu should have followed the right procedures if the state had deemed journalist Manyang Mayom was/is practising unethical journalism.”

However, the union indicated that any complaint against a journalist should be addressed to the Media Authority for recompense and negotiation.

“UJoSS considers the action of Governor Aleu Ayieny Aleu a major threat to freedom of expression in the country.”

The President of the Union referred to the action as “unfortunate and claims the gains made in advancing freedom of expression.”

Ending impunity

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Committed against Journalists, held on November 2, Oyet stressed the protection of journalists in the country.

 “My appeal is that protection should be provided to journalists, this protection is not extraordinary protection, and by protecting journalists, you are protecting human rights, which is a right of everybody,” said Oyet.

He further called on the Access to Information Commission and the Media Authority to address issues that affect journalists while delivering their work in the country.

“The institutions should work to make the work of journalists easy because, at the end of the day, the information that journalists collect and provide to the public helps the public to make decisions.”

He said that the perpetrators of journalists killed in 2014 were still at large as the case is yet to be settled.

“It is not even clear who kills them so when crimes are committed, we expect the state to take action to get the people who have committed the crime to be prosecuted when they are found guilty”, he commented.

Manyang was accused by the state government of wreaking havoc in the state thereby jeopardising peace and stability.

“This letter serves to inform your institution that one of your personnel particularly Mr Manyang Mayom is considered to be participating in activities that jeopardize peace and stability in Warrap State and as such, he is given only seventy-two hours (72) to leave Warrap State,” read the expulsion letter bearing the signature of the State Governor Aleu Ayieny Aleu.