South Sudan shuts down newspaper, arrests editor

Category: Sudan
Published on Friday, 04 November 2011 05:42
Written by The New Sudan Vision (NSV),newsudanvision.com
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Abraham Malek is senior editor at Al-Missier newspaper. Photo by NewSudanVision.com

(Juba, South Sudan NSV) - The editor of Destiny, a recently launched English version of Al-Misier daily, is detained by South Sudan’s national security, following publication of controversial opinion objecting to marriage of first daughter to an Ethiopian immigrant.

This wedding is a demonstration that foreigners have not only monopolized our market, economy and robbed our integrity after penetrating it, but it is also a demonstration that they have taken over our national pride,” wrote columnist Dengdit Ayok, in his first column for Destiny.

“What else is left if an alien could penetrate all the hedges and invade the house of our President, eloped and impregnated his daughter? Where were the security presidential personnel when that strange guy entered the house of the President?” he asked, in opinion that triggered the ire of the President’s family, and the National Security.

The column appeared in Destiny’s only issue, published a week ago.

Abraham Malek, senior editor with Al-Misier, the sister publication of Destiny, told The New Sudan Vision yesterday they began to receive requests for a meeting with national security, after the publication of the strongly-worded article.

Editor-in-Chief of Destiny, Ngor Garang, Editor-in-Chief of Al-Misier, Atem Simon, and President of the Board of Directors, Dhieu Mathok, complied with the summon, and met on Tuesday for two hours with officials from National Security, Abraham said.

In that meeting, the National Security organs decided to detain Ngor Garang, the Destiny’s editor, as the columnist was not handed over by the paper. They held up the editor to “investigate how he came to publish the column,” Abraham added. Security personnel also ordered closure of the paper.

“We’re not printing the Destiny, the English version, but the Arabic version is still going on.”

Previously, Destiny published apology letter to the first family for “mistake” and handed the columnist a month’s suspension. However the security organs proceeded to arrest the journalist.

“Until now, we don’t know where is our colleague, and what his situation is going to be,” Abraham told NewSudanVision.com.

An official of the National Security refused this morning to comment on the story on the phone.  Dhieu Mathok, the board director who attended the security summon said Ngor was fine in detention.

Abraham wondered where the National Security derives it powers as “We’re working without a [media] law in South Sudan.

“We don’t want to work without law,” he said.

Below is the opinion that started it all...

Nyan Bany

By Dengdit Ayok

Juba, the temporal capital city of our new born nation on Saturday, October 22, 2011 witnessed a disappointing social episode that was found disgusting and denounced by many patriotic South Sudanese across the country.

Our revered and acclaimed President, Sir Salva Kiir Mayardit, who is one of the symbols of our long historic struggle and who is also a symbol of our sovereignty, dignity, integrity and source of our national pride, handed over his beloved-beautiful elder daughter (Adut) to a foreigner in a wedding ceremony held in the Catholic Cathedral at Rajaf.

The wedding raised our eyebrows because we didn’t expect Nyan Beny (daughter of the President) to be married by a foreigner when many national suit her profile for marriage; this without saying that it matters not how long she may stay in her father’s house. A wedding as we all know is a social function that people go to cheerfully with women ululating. However, the wedding of Nyan Beny that took place last Saturday was attended by a small crowd of people with clouds of sadness gathered in their hearts as it was clear from their faces; because they were upset by the decision taken by the President to give his daughter in wedding to a stranger.

The wedding that could have been attended by thousands of South Sudanese with elation and delight, to display their traditional dances and turn it into a national wedding like the British royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, was reduced to a very low morale standard function with the attendance of just a few government officials and a minute crowd.

This wedding has not only shocked and angered members of Kiir’s family, but divided it and turned its peace into quarrels and squabbles, it has also shocked the whole nation; because Kiir is a patriotic leader that fought two wars for the wellbeing of his people, a thing which made him valued and highly respected by South Sudanese. But now that he has given his daughter in wedding to an alien, he has to some extent reduced himself in the eyes of his people.

I am writing about about Adut`s wedding because my heart is in pain like the hearts of many zealous South Sudanese who have opposed it, and I am happy that I have a public platform to air out my wrath and the wrath of many fellow countrymen and women. By giving his daughter to a foreigner, our President has stained his patriotism and turned his leadership questionable in our eyes.

This wedding is a demonstration that foreigners have not only monopolized our market, economy and robbed our integrity after penetrating it, but it is also a demonstration that they have taken over our national pride. What else is left if an alien could penetrate all the hedges and invade the house of our President, eloped and impregnated his daughter? Where were the security presidential personnel when that strange guy entered the house of the President?

This wedding of the First Girl which is supposed to be blessed by all South Sudanese including this author is rejected and the religious leaders who blessed the couple in the house of God regardless of their knowledge that she had conceived, have committed a great sin against God for making unholy matrimony holy!

Published in The Destiny Newspaper on Wednesday, October 25, 2011