Senegal: CPJ condemns South Sudan over expulsion of AP journalist

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) - South Sudanese authorities should immediately reverse the expulsion of Associated Press (AP) reporter Justin Lynch and cease interfering with journalists' ability to work freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has said.

In a statement made available to PANA in Dakar, Senegal, on Thursday, CPJ condemned the expulsion and disclosed that South Sudan's security officers on Tuesday arrested the journalist and put him on a flight to Uganda.

"The expulsion of Justin Lynch is yet another illustration of how much President Salva Kiir's government fears independent media coverage," remarked Murithi Mutiga, CPJ's East Africa representative.

"South Sudan needs independent journalism now more than ever. The government should reverse this decision and allow journalists to do their job without harassment."

According to the statement, Lynch wrote on Twitter that the officers offered no official explanation for their action.

"On Tuesday I was arrested and deported by members of South Sudan's National Security Service. The officers did not officially present me with a reason for my arrest and deportation, but repeatedly said that my reporting was too critical of the government. This is a violation of press freedom," the journalist was quoted saying.

CPJ pointed out that in one recent article, Lynch reported a warning from UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, that fighting between supporters of President Kiir and Riek Machar, who was ousted as vice president in August, presented a "potential for genocide".

The press freedom watchdog also revealed that going by its research in last year, South Sudanese authorities closed media outlets. They also beat, threatened, and arrested journalists.
-0- PANA MLJ/MA 8Dec2016

08 december 2016 16:10:27

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