A foot for thought

Bullen Bala was released on bail

Anna Nimiriano Editor in Chief Juba Monitor

A journalist working for Juba Monitor Bullen Bala was released yesterday on bail with condition that if the complainer required him, the Management of Juba Monitor should cooperate by allowing Bala to report to the police station.

The experience Bala had for the three days under police custody made him traumatized.  He told us that for two days, he was put in a dark room where one could not see a person next to him. The way he explained looks like he had been  traumatized and needed healing.  As I said early, Bala was mixed with criminals in the same room. The way they talked and act was not conducive and proper to that of Bala.

It was a bad experience in his live as a young journalist who is hoping to save this country in the coming years through his profession.  On the other hand, it was also a bad experience to the management of Juba Monitor after four years when the late Alfred Taban was arrested by the National Security and detained for more than ten days.  When  the late Alfred was released on bail, he was not tried again until he died.  It was because there were no concrete information filed against him.

Based on what has happened to Bala and the rest, it is like journalists are risking themselves in the country.  Media houses are struggling to give information to the public under difficult condition, but still they were being detained, harassed, intimidated, arrested and to face all other forms of bad experiences. For me as Editor in Chief, it was a bad experience in Juba Monitor. During the time of the late Alfred Taban’s arrest, people thought it was due to lack of peace in the country.

What about now, we have peace in the country, still the situation is not conducive. That means, it was not a matter of having peace in the country, but the type of leadership that  would determine the situation of journalists in the country. Journalists are seen like bad people who are only fond of tarnishing the name of government which is not true.

We need to do our work in a better environment that should not be like the one l have mentioned above. Security organs should not interfere in the work of journalists. In case of anything, media authority should tackle the case.

The way journalists are being treated in the country cannot help them to do their work well. Let this be the last and the end of an experience a journalist would face by ending mistreatment of journalists in South Sudan.

I hope Security organs would improve their way of treating journalists in the country.

May God bless us all.

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