Six Journalists Arrested Over Footage Of South Sudan President Wetting Himself

Six journalists have been detained by South Sudan security forces over viral footage of the country’s president apparently urinating on himself, a press freedom watchdog has reported.

The clip, filmed during an official event, shows South Sudanese leader Salva Kiir standing for the national anthem, initially oblivious as a stain spreads on his trousers and a pool forms at his feet. The camera abruptly turns away after Kiir and his entourage appear to notice what is happening.

On Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that six journalists for the state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) had been detained by the country’s National Security Service under suspicion of an unauthorised release of the footage.

Salva Kiir
The CPJ, citing media reports and people who spoke on condition of anonymity, named the detainees as control room director Joval Tombe, camera operator and technician Victor Lado, camera operators Joseph Oliver and Jacob Benjamin, camera operator and technician Mustafa Osman, and control room technician Cherbek Ruben.

Muthoki Mumo, CPJ’s sub-Saharan Africa representative, said the arrests match a

“pattern of security personnel resorting to arbitrary detention whenever officials deem coverage unfavourable”.

“Authorities should unconditionally release these six SSBC employees and ensure that they can work without further intimidation or threat of arrest,” Mumo said.

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