The Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), an umbrella organisation for media houses in South Sudan has petitioned President Salva Kiir to stop the increasing impunity against journalists in the young nation.
The petition delivered to the office of the President Kiir on Monday demanded the release of journalists who were still under detention.
AMDISS Secretary General Koang Pal claimed that the release would be in line with the president’s announcement on the national prayer day that political detainees would be freed to take part in the national dialogue.
“Our colleagues who are the journalists should be released after the President announced during the National Prayer Day that he would be able to release people who can also be part of this National Dialogue, and media is not exempted,” Pal told journalists in Juba.
He said reopening media houses which had been previously closed represented another major concern raised in the petition delivered to President Kiir.
“We also want the media houses that have been closed down to be reopened so that they take part in this nation-building agenda that is the national dialogue.
“If these media houses are opened and our colleagues in jail are released, they need to be part of this process also,” he stress.
South Sudan press freedom has been handicapped by the war since 2013 and at least 11 journalists have lost their lives in the country either as a result of their work, or because of the volatile situation in the country.
The ongoing media crackdown has also forced several journalists into exile.