South Sudan journalists on strike after colleague shot dead

2015-08-21 15:01

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Juba (dpa) - South Sudanese journalists were Friday observing a 24-hour work stoppage to protest the killing of a colleague three days earlier.

Moi Peter Julius, who worked for Corporate Newspaper, was shot dead on Wednesday by an unidentified gunman in the capital, Juba.

"Such crimes against journalists, against the freedom of expression, against the public, should be prevented by the authorities, brought to book and victims compensated," said Edward Terso, chairman of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan.

State media were not expected to join the work stoppage, which had been declared by the union, related associations and media groups.

Julius was killed four days after President Salva Kiir dismissed journalists' complaints about a lack of press freedom and threatened to kill those reporting "against the country."

"If anybody among [journalists] does not know that this country has killed people, we will demonstrate it one day, one time," Kiir said on Sunday on leaving for peace talks in Addis Ababa.

The 20-month military conflict between Kiir and his political rival Riek Machar has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced about 2 million in the country of 12 million.

Local journalists said Kiir might have been reacting to media criticism of the protracted peace negotiations and for alleging corruption in the government.

The killing of Julius was condemned by the Foreign Correspondents' Association of East Africa and by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).

It was not known if the killing was related to something Julius had written. CPJ has tied the killings of at least five journalists in South Sudan to their work.

Read more on:    riek machar  |  salva kiir  |  south sudan  |  east africa

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