Parliament Threatens To Sue Citizen Newspaper

The Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly, James Wani Igga

The Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly, James Wani Igga

The Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly, James Wani Igga yesterday told journalists at a press conference that the parliament is considering suing the Citizen Newspaper on defamation grounds.

Citizen Newspaper, the only South Sudanese daily newspaper is being sued for publishing an article on the 7th and 8th of this month which parliament claims tarnished its reputation.

“The house here resolved to ask the Editor-in-Chief to apologise to the National Legislative Assembly in writing,” he said.

“Failure to apologize in writing, the National Legislative Assembly Legal Advisor is here instructed to sue the citizen Newspaper to court,” he added.

On the 7th of this month, the citizen published a story alleging that one of the radio journalists working for Bakhita radio by the names of Mading Ngor was beaten by the parliamentary security personnel something which the speaker dismissed.

This followed a straight talk article by the Editor-in-Chief of the Citizen newspaper on the 8th of this month attacking the parliament arguing that it had watched the harassment of the journalist.

The speaker however said that the journalist was forced out of the parliament when he resisted an incident which led to the tearing of the journalist’s trouser.

According to the speaker, the parliament formed a committee to investigate into the alleged physical assault of the journalist but said their report proves that the journalist was not beaten.

The parliament claims that 20 eye witnesses testified and even Mading himself admitted not to have been beaten but that he was roughly pushed out, an incident that led to the tearing of his cloth.

Igga warned journalists against misinformation and called on journalists to report responsibly.

The parliament has not yet passed the media bill but the speaker said this will not prevent them from suing the daily newspaper for what they termed as “defamation”.

He added that the absence of the media bill does not give the media room to misbehave and that the media must be regulated.

Meanwhile, the parliament has resolved to ban the journalist from reporting parliament proceedings accusing him of being troublesome.

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