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PROTEST-About 14 activists arrested

By Bullen Bala Alexander

At least 14 people among them activists and artists were yesterday arrested in a peaceful protests over the dangerous driving of water tank drivers in the city which resulted to the death of a renowned singer Trisha Cosmas (Trisha C).

The group of youth including Activists and Artists staged peaceful demonstrations following the untimely dead of popular female Artists Trisha C in an accident at Mobil Roundabout which occurred the previous day.

However, authorities could not immediately confirm the actual number of those arrested but placed it at about 14 people.

Trisha C was knocked down by a water tanker vehicle while on boda-boda at the roundabout and later died in a privateclinic in Juba.

“The protesters were waving the bands with writings, “Enough is enough, water tankers cannot continue to kill us stop killing us, government should adhere to putting the health system as first priority across the country.”

Despite the peaceful protests, the country’s police arrested 14 activists in the process and were taken to unknown location according to the inside sources.

Among the arrested artists/activists includeJame David Kolok, Executive Director of the FODAG, Wani Michael of OKAY Africa Foundation, ManaseMathiang, Comedian Feel Free, WaniStaven, Baby Boy, Biggy, Big Sam, Nelly, Emma, Francis Losuk, Mazala, Lord Martin, Jaikason, ModolChien, Sworo Nelson Loboka, AK Dans and many others.

However, Jame David Kolok posted in his Facebook account while he was arrested that “We are being taken to the police, myself, Wani Michael and MannaseMathiang. We need your support.”

The arrest that prompted many people to react and demanded for immediate and unconditional release of those who were arrested by the police.

Mr. Edmund Yakani the Executive Director of CEPO described the arrest as unlawful and demands for immediate and unconditional release of those activists.

“I consider the arrest as unlawful in the sense that citizens have the right for peaceful demonstration, so what they did was peaceful demonstration,” Mr. Yakani said.

“As anExecutive Director of CEPO my appeal goes to the Central Equatoria State Police Commissioner to ensure that those activists are not tortured and those activists are immediately released and if they committed crimes they are taken to Court,” he added.

According to the CEPO executive director what the protestors did was a peaceful demonstration responding to constant incidences of water tankers causing accidents and claiming lives and people are not seeing Justice prevailing.

“Our experience is that most of those drivers are Ethiopians and Eritreans and they are normal under cover of powerful persons of the state and whenever they commit crimes they are negotiated and released taken to their country later come back to the country without being held accountable.”

Mr. Yakan believes it was the reason why the protestors decided to go to the streets to tell their leaders this cannot continue and people can no longer tolerate such behaviors and they need an end to the problem.

“I do not think it is politically motivated but it is a right within the bill of rights so what the police did is a violation of human rights,” he added.

He said it was not a violent act adding that if it is not a violent protest it does not mean arrest.

“I am condemning the act of police officers acting unlawfully by beating and torturing any detainee, because they are innocent until proven guilty so beating and torturing them is an acceptable,” he emphasized.

‘Protests is political rights, is civil right and no one should not seek for concerns of someone to express your rights.”

However, according to some inside sources the number of arrested youths are more than 40 and are taken to unknown locations and they were being terribly beaten.

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