JUBA, South Sudan — Harassment, arbitrary detention and beatings come with the turf for journalists in South Sudan who dare to question the government’s actions, expose corruption or report the opposition’s point of view.
An atmosphere of intimidation has some reporters worried that Africa’s newest nation is replicating the intolerance for a free press that is pervasive in Sudan, the nation South Sudan officially separated from on July 9.
Nhial Bol, the editor of the Citizen newspaper, regularly faces death threats. He was arrested three times in the past four years, during a transition period under an interim government that included many of the same officials with the new administration.
He said it was no coincidence that each arrest followed a Citizen report on corruption in the government. In February, police raided the newspaper’s office in the capital, Juba, and ordered its journalists not to write about misconduct by the South Sudan armed forces.
Mr. Bol was part of the panel that helped draft media-freedom legislation for South Sudan. The legislation has yet to become law...Isn't that swell? Sounds like the place is shaping up to become another Zimbabwe. (The Mugabe-in-the-making is the dude in the oversized cowboy hat.)