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South Sudan Should Probe Journalist’s Murder, Group Says

South Sudanese authorities should investigate the killing of journalist Isaiah Abraham, an outspoken critic of the government, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists and his brother said.

Abraham was shot dead early yesterday after receiving a death threat by phone a week earlier, said William Chan, his brother. The callers told Abraham in Arabic that he should “stop writing or they will get rid of him,” he said by phone today from Juba, South Sudan’s capital.

The committee, in a statement yesterday, urged the authorities to investigate the murder and “identify the motive.” Chan said it was a “planned attack” at Abraham’s home by attackers who left computers and money.

Abraham, who was also known as Diing Chan Awuol, wrote opinion articles for media including the Sudan Tribune, a Paris-based online news site, frequently criticizing the government. Chan said his brother was a veteran of the two-decade civil war that led to South Sudan’s secession from Sudan in July 2011, and he was disturbed by the corruption that has tainted the newly independent country.

“Some people think with corruption it is better to remain silent, but Isaiah was not one of those people,” Chan said. “He doesn’t fear; that is the bottom line.”

Police spokesman James Monday and Barnaba Marial Benjamin, information minister and government spokesman, didn’t answer calls seeking comment.

“We trust the government will do something,” Chan said. “If not it will be a big question mark.”

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