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South Sudan’s journalists mourn Al Jazeera’s correspondent

South Sudan journalists mourn Al Jazeera’s correspondent
A group of journalists raise placards in memory of Shireen Abu Akleh at Al Jazeera's offfice in Juba

South Sudanese journalists gathered at the Al Jazeera’s office in Juba Wednesday to mourn fallen colleague Shireen Abu Akleh who was killed a week ago in a raid while on duty in the refugee settlement of Jenin in the West Bank.

Oyet Patrick, the President of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) said the killing of Aljazeera’s correspondent is a concern to journalists, noting that journalists deserve protection while on duty.

“The journalists in South Sudan would like to pass their condolences. Shireen’s killing is a crime and as such, it should be investigated and those who have committed this crime should be brought to book,” Oyet said.

“Her killing is a violation of fundamental human rights and it sets a bad example that a journalist can be killed while on duty. It is a concern to us journalists because we have no tribe, we have no race, we have no region,” Oyet added.

The UJOSS president said journalists should be granted protection while on official duties and urged governments to respect scribes with clear identification.

“We are not Arabs, we are not Africans, we are not Americans, we are not Europeans, we are not Asians but we are a group of people who tell stories to the public. We deserve to be protected in doing our work, those who commit crimes against us while doing our work should be brought to book,” he said.

Haithm Aweet, a Juba-based correspondent for the Al-Jazeera news network said that the media fraternity has lost a great icon, noting that perpetrators of the crimes must be held accountable.

“The death of our colleague Shireen Abu Akleh is a great loss to the media fraternity, her killing is the worse incident against the journalists, she was sending truth to the world through the Al Jazeera channel,” said Aweet.

“Abu Akleh was an icon, a media personality who sent reality from different places, she was an example of a peculiar career model that reported without favour. Journalism is not a crime, journalists do not have a nationality, we call for accountability,” he said.

Majur Chol, an online and broadcast journalist said that the world has not only lost a journalist but a mother, noting that the media fraternity will remember Akleh through her journalistic work.

“We have not only lost a journalist, but we have also lost a mother, we stand in solidarity with Al Jazeera as a media house we will never forget our colleague late Shireen, we will remember her through her work,” said Chol.

Rania Alsadik, a female broadcast journalist working for South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation said the killing is a signal that journalists should not give up to pressure, noting that silencing journalists mean obstruction of reality.

“The death of Abu Akleh signals a strong message that journalists should not be silenced, they should not give up to pressures. Shireen was exemplary, we must struggle to send the message of reality, we must fight anyone who is silencing messages of peace to the world,” said Alsadik.

Abu Akleh, a 51-year-old Palestinian-American correspondent for the Al Jazeera news network, was shot dead on May 11, 2022, while covering a raid by Israeli military and security forces of a refugee settlement in the West Bank town of Jenin.

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