On 25 August, UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions Agnès Callamard issued her first statement on the case of journalist Christopher Allen, a dual US/UK national freelance journalist killed covering the civil conflict in South Sudan on 26 August 2017. Dr Callamard called for a full investigation into the murder, noting that the absence of an investigation for three full years “sends a very dangerous signal that journalists and media workers can be targeted with impunity.”
“Reporters Without Borders fully supports Christopher Allen’s family in their pursuit of justice and accountability for his murder. We wholeheartedly welcome Dr Callamard’s statement, which we hope will mark the start of a new phase in the campaign for justice for Christopher,” said RSF’s Director of International Campaigns, Rebecca Vincent.
“It is time for concrete action not only from the government of South Sudan, but also from the US and UK governments and the UN, to ensure justice is delivered without further delay. Achieving accountability for Christopher’s murder will help to chip away at the endemic impunity for the killings of journalists in South Sudan and globally – and lead to better protections for journalists everywhere,” said Vincent.
RSF has been working to support Christopher Allen’s family in their pursuit of justice in coordination with their legal team from Doughty Street Chambers and Howard Kennedy LLP. On 25 August, the three organisations co-hosted an online panel discussion marking the first event at which Christopher Allen’s mother Joyce Krajian has spoken, as well as the first time Dr Callamard has spoken publicly on the case. The full recording is available to watch online.
Christopher Allen is one of at least 10 journalists killed with impunity during the civil conflict that broke out in South Sudan in December 2013. South Sudan is currently ranked 138th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index.
- A fuller joint version of this statement is available at https://www.doughtystreet.co.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/25.08.2020%20Christopher%20Allen%20Press%20Release%20FINAL.pdf.
- UN Special Rapporteur Agnès Callamard’s statement is available at https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26185&LangID=E
Press contact: Rebecca Vincent at [email protected] or +44 (0)207 324 8903.