UN expert calls on FBI to investigate the death of US journalist Christopher Allen

FBI SWAT members captured while on duty | Photo: FBI

A UN human rights expert has called on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to probe into the killing of American journalist Christopher Allen and hold the perpetrators responsible.

Christopher, a young American freelance journalist, was brutally murdered in late August 2017 in the line of duty, but the government has since denied any responsibility.

“The fact that for three whole years there has been no independent investigation into Mr. Allen’s killing sends a very dangerous signal that journalists and media workers can be targeted with impunity,” said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

The UN expert urged the South Sudanese government and the United Nations to work together and identify the culprits responsible for his killing.

“The governments of South Sudan and the United States can and must take steps to ensure that the circumstances of Mr. Allen’s murder are fully, independently and fearlessly investigated,” she said in a statement.

She appealed to the US security service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to discharge its mandate and obligations by investigating possible war crimes believed to have been committed against Allen.

“The FBI has a duty, both legal and moral, to investigate Mr. Allen’s killing because of well-founded suspicions that war crimes may have been committed by members of South Sudanese forces,” she said.

“Mr. Allen’s murder is indicative of the wider climate of hostility towards journalists in the country,” she said.
The rapporteur noted she had written to the South Sudanese authorities on January 30 this year asking about an investigation but had received no response.