Western Bahr El Ghazal Journalists Warned For Conducting Prison Interviews

The Western Bahr el Ghazal State Government Spokesperson Alfred Derrick Oya criticised the some media reporters operating in the state for breaking their code of ethics. [Gurtong | File]

“The act was a clear abuse of prison laws and disrespect for the administration of Prison Services,” Brigadier General Boutoko told a press conference in Wau.

The charge came during alleged reports of a hunger strike by detainees connected with the December 2012 violence in Wau.

The state Director of Prison Service Michael Boutoko accused the radio correspondent of interviewing prisoners without permission from the prison administration.

He assured that Wau Central Prison was the best functional prison in South Sudan.

“As different state media houses correspondents in Wau, you must first contact the prison services headquarter in Juba in case you need to have any information from the prison or if you want to interview the prisoners,” he warned.

Meanwhile the state Government Spokesperson Alfred Derrick Oya criticised the some media operating in the state of breaking their code of ethics while expressing their duties adding that some media houses are were destroying the image of the government efforts in the nation building.

This is not the first time the state government accuse the media, last year during the Wau violence, state authorities pointed fingers at FM reporters accusing them of playing a negative role and reporting biased information on the state government.

Two state broadcast journalists were in December 2012 arrested for failing to ensure coverage of a crucial speech by President Salva Kiir prompting an outcry from an international media watchdog.

Journalists often complain of persecution by the security services in South Sudan.

The Committee to Protect Journalists, a New York-based media watchdog said Louis Pasquale, director-general of the state broadcaster in Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Ashab Khamis, director of state television had been arrested probably as part of a campaign to stop the media from investigating unrest in Wau.

Soldiers shot dead 10 people protesting against the relocation of a local council triggering more violence in Wau town.

South Sudan is a country with no media law, making it difficult for reporters to get information from government and security services

France-based Reporters Without Borders ranked South Sudan 111th out of 179th in its 2011-2012 press freedom index.

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