A soldier and bodyguard to Vice President Nyandeng Garang have slapped a journalist in Nyakuron Cultural Center today.
According to reports, the bodyguard harassed and intimidated Logonyi Denis, a journalist with a media badge.’
According to a journalist who was at Nyakuron the journalist was slapped for taking photos with a phone.
A fellow journalist who reported the incident on a private journos’ WhatsApp group, said that journalists who were at the scene pleaded with the bodyguard to respect and allow the journalist use his phone to takes pics.
“Myself and several others pleaded and requested the security to observe the freedom of access to information and allow the journalist do his work, the organizers even told them that the journalist is accredited to cover the event and the organizers know about his work,” he narrates.
A number of South Sudan journalists are demanding that the office of the VP condemns the act and take Administrative measure against the bodyguard.
“The Vice President should apologize to the media fraternity and the country at large. And at the same time come out and condemn such acts,” one journalist said.
“The bodyguard should face the law for infringing on the right of the journalist. I think UJOSS should write to Nyandeng and threaten to boycott her events if the matter is not addressed,” another suggested.
South Sudan Union of Journalists, Patrick Oyet said that he was in contact with the VP office and assured journalists that things are being worked out.
“We are following up on this issue, we have talked to VP’s office, the issue will be resolved,” he said.
South Sudan is ranked 144th out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index.