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Arrested journalist still under detention in Torit

By: Manyuon Mayen Manyuon

The last week arrested media practitioner after broadcasting U.S sanctions against the First Vice President Gen. Taban Deng Gai on the Voice of Eastern Eqautoria Radio in Torit State is still under detention according to the locals on the ground.

Ijjo Bosco Modi, who also corresponds for Eye Radio in the State, was arrested last Friday by the State authorities after airing out news about the sanctions of the First Vice President on the State-owned Radio. 

However, the State authorities had denied arrest of  Ijjo Bosco Modi for broadcasting sanctions but instead revealed he was arrested for not respecting what they called “protocol” of the State’ news.

Governor Tobiola Alberio Oromo, Torit State Governor said that the reporter failed to broadcast what was meant to be aired out for locals.

Governor told Juba Monitor yesterday that he was not sure whether the arrested reporter was released or not.

But he had last week told Juba Monitor that the journalist was going to be released, a move which he couldn’t confirm yesterday.

“I think. I didn’t ask the authorities of the Information Ministry on his release. But I think he should be free by now because the administration had wanted to investigate his reporting,” Governor Oromo said.

“The administration had wanted to know the motive of him not broadcasting very valuable and important news for the people of Torit and went on with the irrelevant news,” he added.

A prominent resident of Torit State who doesn’t want his name to be mentioned over fear of reprisal affirmed to Juba Monitor yesterday that Ijjo Bosco Modi was still under detention until last evening.

According to him, the Governor was supposed to confirm the release of detained reporter since he had ordered for reporter’s detention earlier.

“He is the one who ordered for the arrest of this journalist. He had said that he was going to issue release of the gentleman but how come that he couldn’t confirm,” he asked.

Governor Oromo earlier told the press that he was going to issue a release of the journalist, a move which has never materialized up to now.

“And now if he is not sure like that then what is the guaranteed that the journalist is really release? Torit resident questioned.

According to our source we treating as anonymous, the Torit State leadership has not released the reporter.

He disputed the State government circular that the journalist was arrested for different reason apart from sanctions.

“They have now put the issue of sanctions as a second option while this particular journalist had a problem with the State leadership earlier on,” he noted.   

“Earlier on, the same journalist announced the misunderstanding between the Governor and Speaker of the Assembly and because of that it led to the exile of that journalist from Torit for 6 months,” he said

He said that the opportunity was used to arrest Ijjo Bosco Modi as another cause behind a major reason.

He said that there was no written document directed by Governor’s Office to set Ijjo Bosco Modi free upto yesterday.

 “Yesterday, the State Minister of Information in Torit made a press statement to the journalist refuting some of the reports that some media houses gave about the arrest of the journalist,” he said

When contacted on whether the journalist was released or not, Torit State Minister of Information, Margaret Edwa Okuye stated that there was no need for her to provide Juba Monitor with any available information since Juba Monitor had earlier on published the story about the arrest.   

“Well, you (Juba Monitor) had published the same news. So there is nothing new that I can tell you because you had already gone ahead of me,” she said.  

“There is no news that I can give to you because I read Juba Monitor published news about the arrest. Now, what information will I feed you with?” Margaret asked deliberately before hanging up the call with Juba Monitor’s reporter.

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