GENEVA (27 Aug.)
Two special rapporteurs of the United Nations have condemned the latest killing of a South Sudanese journalist, the seventh so far this year. They are calling for investigations into the killings.
David Kaye is the UN Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression, and Christof Heyns is the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions.
“On 19 August 2015, Peter Moi... was shot dead in Juba by two unidentified assailants as he made his way home from work. Earlier in May, James Raeth, a radio journalist based in Aboko, was also killed in an attack by unknown perpetrators,” they said in a statement published on the website of the UN Office in Geneva.
Raeth was reporting for Radio Tamazuj in a rebel-controlled part of Jonglei State when he was killed and Moi was reporting for business weekly The Corporate in Juba, the seat of the national government.
Kaye said that attacks on journalists are “completely unacceptable and only embolden perpetrators to commit further violence against journalists, with impunity.” He also said he was “outraged” by recent remarks by President Salva Kiir threatening to kill critical journalists [click here for audio], which were later retracted by Kiir's spokesman Ateny Wek, who did not however condemn the killing of Moi.
For his part, Heyns said, “Political leaders have a duty to refrain from making provocative statements against journalists.”
“The brutal killing of Mr. Moi and Mr. Raeth need to be urgently and thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators must be held accountable.”
David Kaye is a professor and former US government lawyer who has served as special rapporteur since 2014. His counterpart Heyns is also a director of the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa and Professor of Human Rights Law at the University of Pretoria.
Kaye and Heyns also referred to the killings of five other journalists in Raja County earlier this year. These journalists were working for state-run radio station and TV and were traveling in a government convoy when ambushed.
The Union of Journalists of South Sudan and other media bodies have also condemned the killing of the journalists in Raja County.
Photo: Professor Christof Heyns
GENEVA (27 Aug.)