Video taken during an official event showed South Sudanese President Salva Kiir standing while the national anthem was being played, leaving a stain on his pants and a puddle at his feet. Then the camera quickly pans away after the president and those around him seem to notice what has happened.
The video went viral on social media last month. And it raised questions about whether the 71-year-old president was healthy enough to lead a country facing conflict, food insecurity and the effects of climate change. But at the same time, a debate began about whether it was ethical to share similar videos on social networks and whether it was not based on a lack of empathy for the elderly.
South Sudanese security forces have arrested six journalists from state broadcaster SSBC on suspicion of unauthorized dissemination of the video, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. Its representative in sub-Saharan Africa, Muthuki Momo, said he considered the authorities’ actions against the journalists an example of arbitrary detention. According to him, the security services turn to him every time, whenever officials feel they are being portrayed in an indifferent light in the news.
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