Six journalists arrested after sharing footage appearing to show South Sudan president wet himself

Salva Kiir
Salva Kiir - Al Jazeera English, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

According to media rights groups, six journalists in South Sudan have been arrested for sharing footage that appears to show President Salva Kiir urinating on himself during the national anthem at an event.

The footage in question, which was shared on social media in December 2022, appears to show a dark stain spreading down President Salva Kiir’s grey trousers as he stood for the national anthem at a road commissioning event.

The video, which was not aired on television, quickly spread on social media, and it is believed that the six journalists arrested in January 2023 were employees of the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation. They were suspected of having knowledge of the footage’s distribution.

According to Patrick Oyet, president of the South Sudan Union of Journalists, the journalists who were arrested were suspected of being involved in the distribution of the video that showed President Salva Kiir urinating on himself. He told Reuters that the journalists “are suspected of having knowledge on how the video of the president urinating himself came out.”

Human rights organisations have frequently called on authorities in South Sudan to stop the harassment and intimidation of journalists. They have raised concerns about the restriction on freedom of the press and the safety of journalists in the country.