Newspaper editor arrested
Juba, July 2016 – Michael Christopher, editor-in-chief of South Sudan’s independent Arabic-language daily, al-Watan, was arrested by the National Security Service after his paper allegedly published an inaccurate report. According to a report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, his arrest comes as journalists in the country report increased pressure. Separately, a local rights group reported that Alfred Taban, the editor-in-chief of Juba Monitor, was charged and denied bail on July 24 over a column about the state of affairs in Africa’s youngest nation.
Ugandan journalists cautioned about registration
A media rights body has asked journalists in Uganda to resist attempts by the Media Council of Uganda to register them.
“I invite you to stand up and say no to this process,” Robert Ssempala, the National Coordinator, Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda, is quoted as telling journalists. He’s further reported as saying that the Media Council is a creation of the Press and Journalists Act 2005, “which is a bad law and is being challenged in court by the HRNJ-Uganda, East Africa Media Institute and the Center for Public Interest Litigation”.
“This whole process of registering journalists under the . . . prevailing circumstances is very suspicious,” said said Julius Esegu, the HRNJ-Uganda Executive Board Chairperson.
“It’s intended to curtail the free flow of information and ideas by irregularly having journalists register despite the attendant law being challenged in the courts of law. Journalists should be registered by their parent media houses. All forms of gagging the media should be resisted.”