The UN expressed concern over the arrest of six journalists who recorded the South Sudanese president urinating on himself.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir urinates on himself during an official ceremony

The UN expressed his concern on Monday about the situation of the six journalists of the national television channel South Sudanarrested last week for having recorded the president Save Kiir while urinating on himself during an official act.

The UN spokesman Stephane Dujarricsaid he did not intend to comment on the incident itself, but indirectly confirmed the arrest of the reporters: “It is very worrying that journalists have been detained for doing their job.”

Dujarric assured that the UN mission in the country “tries to find out his whereabouts (of journalists) and to make sure that they are treated correctly”.

The video, recorded on an imprecise date and never aired on television, was leaked last week and went viral: in it, Kiir, 71, appears standing during an official act surrounded by various personalities. Dressed in a light gray shirt and pants, you can see how his pants begin to get wet until they form a puddle on the floor.

The president himself ends up looking at the puddle that forms on the ground, apparently surprised by what happened, and the images end abruptly, interrupted by some external agent.

South Sudanese President Salva Kiir urinates on himself during an official ceremony
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir urinates on himself during an official ceremony

The six arrested last week are the members of the television crew of the South Sudanese Television Corporation who was recording the act, as denounced last Friday by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan, which asked that they leave the National Security offices and be brought before a judge if there is suspicion that there was a crime.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) for its part also asked the government last Friday for the immediate and unconditional release of the six journalists, as well as “guaranteeing that they can work without intimidation or fear of arrest.”

There was no response to calls to the National Security Service. Officials from the presidency and from the national radio and television network declined to comment.

Kiir has been the only president of South Sudan since the country gained independence from Sudan in 2011. The last presidential election has been postponed again, this time to late 2024, amid slow implementation of a 2018 peace deal that ended a five-year civil war.

(With information from AP and EFE)

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