Media freedom on hold in South Sudan because of civil war

first_imgNews News Help by sharing this information RSF welcomes UN Special Rapporteur’s statement calling for justice for Christopher Allen three years on to go further August 25, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts News December 23, 2020 Find out more Follow the news on South Sudan Organisation South SudanAfrica News RSF_en The anniversary, on 9 July, was a sad one. Despite all the obstacles, South Sudan had initially seemed to embody a new hope of stability and democracy in the region. But it soon relapsed into the divisive conflicts that had undermined this land and its peoples before independence. The toll so far from the civil war that began on 15 December is thousands of dead and more than a million displaced, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.After visiting South Sudan in July 2013, Reporters Without Borders wrote a report about the challenges it faced, including censorship and the need to train journalists. Rising to the challenges had seemed possible then in this young state, where the security forces and journalists met regularly and engaged in a healthy dialogue, and a progressive media law was in the process of being approved.But this fragile progress has been shattered by the extreme violence that has gripped South Sudan for the past six months.Newspapers – first victims of the crisisThe net was closing on the media in the capital, Juba, even before fighting broke out on 15 December.The latest issue of the Arabic-language daily Almasier was confiscated on 7 December after it reported statements critical of President Salva Kiir at a news conference by members of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) opposed to Kiir. At the same time, Almasier’s editor and CEO were summoned for questioning by the National Security Services (NSS). Nhial Bol, the editor of the independent English-language daily The Citizen, was arrested on 10 December and copies of its latest issue were seized during a raid by the security forces the next day. Both The Citizen and Almasier had been the targets of similar acts of intimidation in the past, while Almasier’s English language version had been banned since 2011.Worse outside JubaThe violence against the media is very real in the areas that came under the control of the “opposition SPLA,” the rebels led by former Vice-President Riek Machar. For the most part, journalists can no longer work there, having fled into exile or ended up in camps for displaced persons. The equipment of many radio stations has been systematically destroyed.In some cases where radio stations have been spared, they have been requisitioned to broadcast rebel messages. In Bentiu, in Unity State, rebel broadcasters have even resorted to hate speech. Calls were made on Radio Bentiu FM for the removal of certain ethnic groups and the rape of their women. Hundreds died in the ensuing massacre in April 2014, according to the UN.Even when journalists are still working, little is reported. Some journalists with access to rebel-controlled areas have preferred not to use the interviews they have conducted for fear of endangering the interviewees or themselves.As the political conflict has followed ethnic lines, journalists who are members of Machar’s Nuer tribe are automatically regarded as opposition supporters, while those who belong to President Kiir’s ethnic group, the Dinka, cannot work in rebel-held territory.“Patriotic” journalismThe range of subjects that are off-limits has expanded steadily throughout the country. South Sudanese officials like “patriotic” journalism and are sensitive about their reputation.Information minister Michael Makuei told journalists in Juba in March that they risked being arrested or expelled for “hostile propaganda” if they interviewed members of the opposition. The media should take “a neutral position that does not agitate against the government,” he said.A few days later, President Kiir banned journalists from covering his private life, claiming that this was a “clear violation of our constitution.” Newspaper publishers recently wrote to the government requesting an explanation for the verbal threats received from security officials, who had ordered them not to publish any articles about governance issues or federalism. Denying the existence of any such orders in a letter on 2 July, the information minister said: “The government has not and will never issue any directive, verbal or written (…) censoring debate or publication of articles on federalism or any other issues of public interest.”Speaking on 2 July, presidential spokesman Ateny Wek Ateny said: “The debate about federalism or any system of governance is enshrined under the freedom of expression under article 24 of the constitution, so we cannot curtail anybody’s freedom of speech, about any system of governance they might want to discuss.”Censorship and self-censorshipNonetheless, 15,000 copies of Juba Monitor’s latest issue were seized the same day after it published an article about federalism. Previous issues were confiscated on 18 March and 10 April for referring to a rebel advance and for interviewing a former minister who joined the opposition.When 3,000 copies of The Citizen were seized in a raid on 7 July, an official told the Sudan Tribune that the motive was “security concerns” rather than any attempt to gag journalists.The Citizen publisher Nhial Bol Aken said the seizures are causing major losses that are jeopardizing the newspaper’s economic future. Is South Sudan trying to use economic methods to throttle or pressure its media, like its northern neighbour? Earlier this year, it was firmly suggested to Citizen TV, which is owned by the same group, that it should give reports about the president more prominence and put them at the start of its news programmes.Eye Radio’s editor, Beatrice Murail, had to resign and was asked to leave the country after she had approved the broadcast of a press conference recording, given by a former pro-Machar minister. On the very same day, three journalists of the radio were summoned and questionned during long hours by NSS. The radio is still broadcasting.”According to Oliver Modi, the head of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), there have been at least five cases of journalists being summoned for interrogation or arrested in Juba and more than 10 other cases in other parts of the country since the start of the conflict in December. It is way of keeping media personnel under pressure. Self-censorship, which journalists and media observers say was already a problem in South Sudan before the crisis, has now reached alarming proportions.“The media can no longer play their early-warning, watchdog role,” one media observer said. “A certain level of self-censorship has always been present but if you want to continue living and working as a journalist in Juba nowadays, you have to avoid controversial questions, which means anything to do with security.”Even the staff of UN-run Radio Miraya, which used to be more outspoken, have been threatened and temporarily evacuated. Some accuse the station of now broadcasting nothing but reports unlikely to cause any offence.Legislative reforms on holdFinally, the media law that should have been voted in December 2013 has been postponed indefinitely to the dismay of journalists, who would like to be free as soon as possible of information ministry control, to which they are subject in the absence of any media legislation. This often results in abuses, such as journalists having to register with the minister in order to work. While not perfect, the proposed media law adheres to international standards, guaranteeing respect for the public interest, the creation of a regulatory body under parliamentary supervision and civil society involvement in the appointment of the head of the public broadcaster, journalists say.When a delegation of journalists went to parliament on 20 June to enquire about the proposed media law’s status, they were told: “The media law is not the priority, security and peace are the priority.”Reporters Without Borders urges the government not to make the mistake of sacrificing respect for civil liberties to security. Created in reaction to the violence and arbitrary rule that its population suffered at the hands of its northern neighbour, South Sudan must keep trying to guarantee a free and independent press. This requires adoption of the media law and an end to newspaper seizures and harassment of journalists.Only in this way will it be possible to avoid mortgaging the future of this young country, which has fallen steadily in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index since its creation and is now ranked 119th out of 180 countries.(photo slideshow : President Salva Kiir, Goran Tomasevic, Reuters)(photo logo : Michael Makuei, Information minister) South SudanAfrica Online memorial and writing prize launched to mark 30th birthday of slain journalist Christopher Allen July 11, 2014 – Updated on May 31, 2016 Media freedom on hold in South Sudan because of civil war On the third anniversary of South Sudan’s independence, Reporters Without Borders has assessed the current state of freedom of information and its dashed aspirations in the world’s youngest state, which has been riven by civil war since mid-December 2013. Red alert for green journalism – 10 environmental reporters killed in five years August 21, 2020 Find out morelast_img read more

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The Latest: Nebraska head coaches giving back some salary

first_img Associated Press Norwich is in last place in the league and hosts Southampton on Friday in their first Premier League game back after the three-month suspension.One person has tested positive for the coronavirus in the latest round of checks. The Premier League announced that 1,541 tests had been conducted on players and club staff on June 15 and 16.___The Swiss Indoors tennis tournament in Basel wants to cancel its 50th anniversary edition in October because of the coronavirus pandemic.Organizers say they told tour officials they would “prefer to cancel this year’s edition of the tournament in light of the current situation.” Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditThe Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:___Nebraska football coach Scott Frost and men’s basketball coach Fred Hoiberg will donate a portion of their salaries to the athletic department’s general operating fund to help offset revenue shortfalls because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Latest: Nebraska head coaches giving back some salary The NCAA on Wednesday approved plans for an extended preseason to give teams more time to hold walk-throughs. With the coronavirus pandemic wiping out spring practice for most teams, along with the usual required summer activities for players such as weight training and film study, schools want to make up for lost preparation time.___Club rugby in Europe is set to resume on Aug. 22 after a five-month suspension because of the coronavirus outbreak with matches in the PRO14 league that contains teams Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.A truncated regular season will be concluded by two rounds of matches where teams from the same nation play each other home and away to avoid cross-border travel.Semifinal matches will take place on Sept. 5 and the final on Sept. 12. Tournament head Roger Brennwald says playing the event with no fans or with social distancing “have to be ruled out for us in Basel on economic grounds.”The ATP is expected to decide on its end-of-season indoor schedule in mid-July.Brennwald says “it looks like coronavirus is on match point and is set for victory.”Hometown great Roger Federer was already set to miss the tournament where he worked as a ballboy and is the record 10-time champion. He ended his season this month to recover from knee surgery.___ “When I took this job, one of the things that stood out to me most about Nebraska was its complete commitment to the student-athlete, not just in football or men’s basketball, but in all sports,” Hoiberg said. “After a little more than a year here, I am even more impressed with the resources available to our young men and women. It is important to me to contribute to keeping Nebraska a leader in student-athlete support and services.”___The University of Texas announced that 13 football players tested positive for COVID-19 or are presumed positive, and contact tracing has 10 more in isolation.Texas started bringing football players back to campus for workouts on June 8. The school has also identified four other players who tested positive for the COVID-19 antibody.Kansas State officials reported Wednesday night that eight Wildcats athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 out of 130 tested. center_img The athletic department said in a statement Thursday the amount of the donations would be determined when the 2021 budget is closer to being finalized.Frost’s salary is $5 million this year. Hoiberg is set to earn $3 million.Frost is in his third year as head coach. He grew up in Wood River and was Cornhuskers quarterback in 1996-97. His father played football for the Huskers, his mother was a standout on the track team and is in the school’s athletic hall of fame.“These are difficult times across our country and in college athletics, and Nebraska athletics is not immune to the financial crunch,” Frost said. “This athletic department has been so important to my family for several decades. Before I ever played or coached here, I was a Nebraska Cornhusker fan first. I wanted to do my small part to help ensure our athletic department and all of our teams have the necessary resources to compete for championships moving forward.”Hoiberg is entering his second season at Nebraska. His parents are Nebraska graduates and his grandfather, Jerry Bush, was the Huskers’ men’s basketball coach from 1954-63. All 10 FBS conferences have now announced that their media days will be altered because of the pandemic, with most going virtual. The Big Ten has not made a final decision on its media days.___Norwich midfielder Marco Stiepermann has returned to training after self-isolating at home following a positive test for COVID-19.The English club was informed of the positive test on Friday. That was the same day Norwich played Tottenham in a friendly ahead of the resumption of the Premier League.Norwich says Stiepermann has remained asymptomatic and has since taken two further tests that returned negative results. June 18, 2020 PRO14 tournament director David Jordan says “we are very fortunate to be in a position where everyone involved is confident that we can conclude the season on the field of play.”The league has two conferences. Leinster and Ulster are the current top two in Conference A while Edinburgh and Munster are the top two in Conference B.___The Atlantic Coast Conference is moving its football media days online because of concerns about COVID-19.The ACC Football Kickoff was originally scheduled to be held at The Westin in Charlotte, North Carolina. It has been rescheduled for July 21-23 with coverage on the ACC Network. Commissioner John Swofford, each of the conference’s 14 head coaches and selected players will be featured. More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

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Bombay Chest Furniture featured at Olympia’s Furniture Works

first_imgFacebook33Tweet0Pin6 Submitted by Furniture WorksIf you are looking for furniture to accessorize and beautify your home then Bombay Chest Furniture will be the perfect furniture to use. Using Bombay chest furniture will allow you  to turn your hallway or any empty wall into something rather beautiful to look at. They will add so much style to your home. Bombay Chest Furniture makes small to large storage pieces, each one having their own elegant design that has been beautifully crafted from select quality wood. They are made in different shapes that help with adding more character to any room.Some Bombay chest furniture pieces are beautifully crafted with hand-carving and then finished with a classic walnut stain. These furniture pieces have shelves inside with ample storage space inside so that you are able to store anything away. You can get foyer cabinets that are beautifully crafted from hard woods that are detailed with intricate hand carvings. On these pieces you may have two front doors with huge amounts of space and there will be a drawer at the top.There are hand painted hall chests that feature tooled embossed, nail head trimmed, antique brass toned, hand painted front panels that are framed by antique black finished parting rails and base. There is a cabriole leg base and ogee edged top. The hand painted hall chests can also have drawers in them with a double ogee top that rests on a scalloped apron with splayed and tapered legs. These pieces can also be crafted with spoon feet.There are other Bombay furniture pieces that have decorative elements that might include ormolu mounts, shell carvings, acanthus leaf carvings, carved scroll feet, and custom hardware. Fluted bun feet that are hand painted faux dark cherry finish with embossed metal and the front drawers are hand painted. You can choose a Bombay chest furniture piece that is an English design. This particular design has four drawers and two curved doors on the ends. The curved doors have simulated drawer fronts on them so that they match the design detail on the front.The name Demilune means half round in French and these could normally be used together as a pair, back to back. Also available are shaped hall chests with ball and claw feet. Other Bombay chest furniture may look like they have an oversized design to it with a very elegant beauty. All these Bombay Chest Furniture pieces have a magnificent hand carved detail and each of them has their own elegant design and quality. Each and every one of these items would look fantastic in any part of your home and they will complete the look in any room. Bombay chest furniture is bound to bring any wall to life.last_img read more

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