Police in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State have issued an arrest warrant for a local journalist over a report of a missing civil servant’s salary in the state.
Journalist Ngor Deng is a correspondent with the “Number One Citizens Newspaper” based in Aweil town.
On October 3, the English daily published a news article about the disappearance of a one-month civil servant’s salary worth over 104 million Pounds.
The story then angered the minister of finance and the secretary General of the state government.
Later on, Deng said the state government cleared the civil servants’ salary arrears.
Now, the state government wants to arrest the journalist for what it described as “defamation”.
Captain Guot Akol, the police spokesperson in Northern Bahr el Ghazal State confirmed the matter to Eye Radio on Friday.
“It is true that there are such procedures against Ngor Deng, the section 2, 79 was opened against him and the arrest warrant was issued by the Public Prosecutor. The arrest warrant was issued on date 27th and still is being looked at and up to now he has not reported himself,” Capt. Guot said.
“I believe it is right procedure for any South Sudanese or institution to open a case against any person whenever he/she feels some of their rights have been violated.”
Fearing for his life, Journalist Deng told Eye Radio he is now hiding.
He is asking the national government to intervene.
“I am appealing to the national government and human rights to really engage the authorities to know that people they are leading are not their enemies and the media always act as the voice of the voiceless,” Ngor told Eye Radio by phone from his hiding place.
“If it [story] was not published there would be no way for this issue to be known. So my life is in danger, should it happen again and get me at any time it is not going to be okay.
“I am just doing this because it’s part of my daily life, and if they subject me to this threat then it is not okay.”
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