S Sudan journalist's body dumped at farm: rights group

2016-09-28 20:01


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Nairobi - The body of a South Sudanese journalist abducted almost four months ago was found on a farm this week, press freedom group Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday.

RSF urged South Sudan's authorities "to shed all possible light" on the murder of freelance reporter Isaac Vuni, who was kidnapped on June 4 along with his brother from the family's home in southern Kerepi, near the Ugandan border.

Responsibility for the abduction was never claimed.

Vuni's relatives told the independent Sudan Tribune newspaper that his body was discovered on a farm outside Kerepi, RSF said in a statement. His brother has yet to be found.

It said that a witness had told the South Sudan Liberty News website at the time that the abductors wore the same military dress as the "Tiger Battalion", President Salva Kiir's bodyguards.

"We condemn Isaac Vuni's foul murder and call on the authorities to conduct an investigation to identify those responsible and bring them to justice," said Clea Kahn Sriber, the head of RSF's Africa desk.

Vuni, who often wrote for the Sudan Tribune, had been arrested in Juba in 2009 after reporting that members of the Sudan People's Liberation Army and the South Sudanese government were implicated in a financial scandal.

He was also detained for several weeks in 2011 during a crackdown on local journalists.

Seven journalists were killed in South Sudan last year, according to another media rights group, the Committee to Protect Journalists.

RSF said journalists have been regularly targeted since the civil war began in 2013, with many held incommunicado, including Radio Miraya's George Livio - now held incommunicado for more than two years.

South Sudan was this year ranked 140th out of 180 countries in RSF's global press freedom index, 15 places lower than the previous year.

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