Juba, South Sudan,
Nov 11, 2016(Nyamilepedia) ——- The South Sudan National Security Service officers closed down Eye Radio FM in Juba this afternoon, no reasons were given.
Speaking to a senior Eye Radio journalist, who fears for his life, he said three officers came to their station this afternoon and locked down the station.
He said they took the keys and ordered the journalist to leave the station immediately.
“I want to tell you, three officers from the National Security came to the station and closed Eye Radio and they locked the three studios and went with the keys. They also ordered all the journalists to leave the station immediately,” said a senior Eye Radio journalist, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of reprisal.
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Eye radio also confirmed to their supporters on social media that the station was shutdown by forces beyond their control.
A notice published by Eye Radio on its website, Facebook and Twitter accounts just around noon reads, “OFF-AIR: This is to inform you our esteemed listener that Eye Radio will unfortunately be shutting down its broadcast today for reasons beyond our control.”
“We apologize for any inconveniences caused to you,” the station added.
According to the CEO of Eye Radio FM, Stephen Omiri, the senior management of Eye Radio is following up with authorities on the matter with the view to immediately the problems.
“The senior management of Eye Radio would like to inform the general public that Eye Radio was shutdown by the authorities this afternoon” Said the CEO, Stephen Omiri.
“We will continue to update our listeners and the general public if new information becomes available or when the station resumes broadcast” Omiri continued.
Eye Radio is a popular radio station in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, with a number of FM repeaters elsewhere in the country.
Due to war and a new era of leadership in the country, media houses are either shutdown or the journalists are closely monitored, killed or arrested anytime they diverge from government expectations.
On September 15, The South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) closed the Nation Mirror Daily English Newspaper in Juba without giving any written reasons, an editor for the newspaper told Nyamilepedia press.
Aurelious Simon Chopeee, editor of the Nation Mirror English newspaper, confirmed to Nyamilepedia press the closure of the newspaper following instructions by security officials to stop printing.
He pointed out that they were summoned over an opinion piece published by their newspaper, saying the security officials demanded the newspaper’s editors to bring the opinion writer.
The editor told Nyamilepedia press that the newspaper also published “The Sentry’s report chronicling public corruption among South Sudan’s leaders including President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar.”
Other radio stations including the Catholic owned Bakhita FM have also been on and off at the order of National Security authorities.
Other media houses like Al mugif Arabic Newspaper, which was shutdown earlier this year, remained locked and its Chief editor remains in prison.
More than 15 journalists have been killed within the last three years and 7 media houses have been shutdown between January to November this year.
Speaking to media in Juba, Josephine Achiro, the Director of the Catholic radio station Bakhita FM, said restriction on freedom of expression should be lifted in South Sudan.
He said restrictions on media is largely affecting Journalists who are working in the country, saying female journalists face enormous challenges due to limited freedoms besides discrimination against women in some communities in South Sudan.
South Sudan media is not only facing security crackdown, they also face economic hardship as many people cannot afford basic needs such as food and clean water.