Human rights defender
Christopher is the chief editor of an independent newspaper which is available in all ten states of South Sudan. Their mission is to provide its readers in South Sudan and elsewhere with information, as detailed and accurate as possible, about the acts and omissions of the executive, legislative and judicial power. This way the newspapers wants to enable its readers to make informed decisions.
Photo: Daniella van Bergen
Christopher has done a number of studies about corruption and human rights violations. Last year he formed a team of journalists whose task was to investigate allegations of corruption by shell companies owned by senior government officials and their close circle. As a result of the investigations, many people started to threaten the journalists.
“We ask ourselves with every publication: will it change something?”
Christopher has also worked to denounce human rights abuses resulting from the negligence of oil companies. He was able to establish a direct relationship between government policy that has made the situation of people living in and around the oilfields much worse. He investigated and established that in most oilfields in Unity and Upper Nile States, there is no effective waste water management. As a result most local communities have suffered the consequences of drinking unsafe water, which has resulted in an acute increase in the number of miscarriages, children born with deformities and other health issues and complications. Ever since, senior government officials within the Petroleum Ministry have threatened Christopher with arrest for tampering with national security issues. Christopher’s investigative journalism has brought him under the attention of the authorities and in September 2015 he had to flee Juba and South Sudan as he was no longer safe there.
3th of May: World Press Freedom Day
On the 3th of May 2016, Christopher had two interviews about his work. In the afternoon Eric Smits interviewed him during the presentation of the book ‘Blad voor de mond – Persvrijheid wereldwijd’ at Justice and Peace in het Nutshuis in The Hague. In the evening he was interviewed by journalist Michel Maas during the ‘Festival van het Vrije Woord’ in De Balie in Amsterdam.