H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit
President of South Sudan
Juba, South Sudan
H.E James Wani Igga
Vice President of South Sudan
Juba, South Sudan
RE: Immediate Release of Journalist Clement Lochio Lomornana
South Sudan media laws guarantee freedom of the press; unfortunately, these freedoms are only on paper. South Sudan presently is the most hostile media country in Africa where 9 journalists have been killed in 2015, several media houses closed without reason, and journalist are harassed, detained, and intimidated on a regular basis.
Security organs, particularly the National Security Services (NSS), have since the December 2013 conflict have stepped up the harassment and unlawful censorship of the press. The NSS with broad powers that contravene the 2011 Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South
Sudan has detained journalist and shut down publications. For example, the Almajhar Alsayasy were ordered to stop publication. In 2014 several prints of the Citizen, and Juba Monitor were confiscated several times. The government raided and closed Bakhita Radio in 2014 August but then allowed it to reopen in 2014 September under conditions it not air political programs.
On January 25, 2015 five journalists, Randa George, Dalia Marko, Musa Mohamed, Boutros Martin, and Adam Juma were ambushed, gunned down, attacked with machetes, and set on fire in Western Bahr el Gahazel while returning from assignment in Sofo to Raja.
On August 20th unknown assailants gunned down Journalist Peter Moi three days after President Salva Kiir threatened to kill journalist who reported against the country. While the assailants remain unknown, it hard not to link his death directly to the declaration of the President.
Of pressing concern today, is the case of Clement Lochio Lomornana who was detained by security agents on August 6th, 2015 in Chukudum with two of his friends in the middle of the night. Local reports indicate that he was last seen on August 15 when he was loaded into a military vehicle with his brother Nailo.
All attempts by the local community to obtain information or his release have thus far failed. Today we appeal to the office of the President and Vice President to release information about Clement Lochio. We call for his protection and immediate release.
We also ask President Kiir to retract his threats to journalists and in good faith act on this matter by securing the release of Clement Lochio and his brother.
Kwaje Lasu, RCP, MPH. Benjamin Okuka President Secretary General ESSCA-USA ESSCA-USA