News / / 11.05.19

New York Times: South Sudan Silences a Witness to Its Horrors

“Reporting the facts of such highly volatile and complex crises is essential if they are ever to be tackled, and if the death and suffering are ever to end. The oil companies and authorities who fan the flames for their own ends need to be exposed, and nongovernmental organizations such as Mr. Clooney’s and reporters such as Ms. Mednick should be commended for — and protected in — their efforts to bring the truth of what’s happening to the world.”

Not many international reporters brave the bloodshed and chaos of South Sudan to let the world know of the horrors taking place there. That suits the thugs who thrive on violence and chaos just fine: It is often reporting from the scene that helps generate the shock and shame for governments and international organizations to intervene in bloody power struggles that otherwise could drag on without end, destroying endless lives and uprooting countless families.

Sam Mednick is one of the few text journalists who have told the stories of South Sudan. A courageous Canadian freelancer who was The Associated Press’s correspondent in South Sudan for nearly three years, she knew the score — before South Sudan, she had reported from the Middle East, Asia, South America, Europe and elsewhere in Africa. Her story in recent weeks had been the unraveling of a peace agreement that was to meld the government and rebels into a power-sharing coalition government. For that, the government silenced her.

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I support press freedom in #SouthSudan, and stand behind @sammednick and all journalists courageously reporting the facts.