Authorities block news sites and blogs for publishing "subversive" content

Expression

The ban imposed on 20 foreign journalists on 8th June 2017, as previously reported on the Monitor, was lifted in late June, after the National Dialogue Steering Committee, a group of veteran politicians tasked with consultations to restore peace in the country, pressured the South Sudanese authorities to do so. The government's Media Authority had claimed earlier in June that the journalists were denied entry into the country because of their "unsubstantiated and unrealistic stories".

Adil Faris Mayat, head of South Sudan’s state-owned national TV broadcaster SSBC, was arrested on 10th July for failing to provide live coverage of President Salva Kiir's speech given on 9th July to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the country’s independence. Although Mayat attributed the failure to technical problems, the government considered it a "clear case of sabotage". He was held incommunicado until his release on 19th July and he was later fired from his position on 25th July.

On 17th July, South Sudanese authorities blocked access to online news sites and blogs, including Paris-based Sudan Tribune and Dutch-backed Radio Tamazuj, as well as the popular blogs Nyamilepedia and Paanluel Wel. Minister of Information Michael Makuei Lueth had accused the online news resources of publishing "subversive" content.