Swedish group says “silent” media blocking continue in South Sudan

Access Denied symbol (Photo credit: via Google)

Access Denied symbol (Photo credit: via Google)

August 17, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – A Swedish media organization has said Monday that silent media blocking in South Sudan by government security agencies has continued after a local media website becomes the latest victim of the government action.

In late June 2020, Sudans Post announced on its website that access to its content has been blocked by the government and its security agencies. The government has however insisted that no website is being blocked in the world’s youngest country.

According to the Qurium Media Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Sweden that supports independent media, Sudans Post was blocked following threats from the National Security Service (NSS) against the editors and a then Juba-based web host company over an article against businesswoman Achai Wiir who was then reported to have been under investigation for a plot to kill own husband.

Sudans Post – a small grassroots news media focusing on South Sudan – received personal threats from the National Security Service after a series of articles related to the popular and wealthy Sudanese business women Achai Wiir, allegedly plotting to kill her own husband. Both the editor of the news site and its former hosting provider received threats, with the aim to remove the content and to reveal the identity of the editor,” the Qurium said in a statement extended to Nyamilepedia.

Despite the removal of the content, the organization said the Sudans Post was blocked the following day and access was only allowed and limited to a few places in the capital Juba including the presidency, NSS headquarters, and the ministries complex.

“Although the content was removed, Sudans Post was blocked by the authorities the following day. The site is currently only reachable from IP addresses belonging to the ministries, the presidential palace, the National Security Service, and a few large international NGOs,” it said.

“Qurium sees a worrying trend of blocking media websites in South Sudan. The blocking is done with no transparency or accountability, no measures to appeal, no legal process, and implemented silently by the upstream providers.

“To circumvent the blocking of South Sudanese news sites and to prevent digital attacks against them, Qurium is hosting and providing mirrors to no less than three blocked media organizations: Sudans Post, Nyamilepedia, and PaanLuel Wel.”