Seven journalists, an activist arrested in parliament precincts

The media coverage portfolio

By Bida Elly David

At least 7 Journalists and 1 activist were apprehended yesterday within the premises of the South Sudan Legislative Assembly following an official invitation by the National Council of States to make a cover for the summon of governors towards presenting updates regarding the security situation in the States

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Patrick Oyet, the President for the Union of Journalists reiterated that one of the victims (Journalist) on a phone call said that they were lifted in a car and driven to an unknown destination that they were ignorant about.

 Patrick stressed out that after making a series of follow-ups, the national Security denied that the Journalists weren’t apprehended by their officers.

He added that without hesitation, the 7 Journalists and activists were finally traced to be driven to a certain hidden office along Bilpham road but after making inquiries to know the purpose of the arrest, neither the security officers nor the Journalists and the activist presented any genuine reason due to the tentative trauma they might have incurred.

‘’I received a phone call from one of my colleagues among the apprehended that they were put in a car and driven to the unknown destination. When I investigated, the national Security officers denied that journalists were arrested by them. Afterward, we were referred to the certain office where we finally found all the apprehended journalists and the activists ‘’ Patrick added

Furthermore, he added that upon seeing the arrested Journalists and the activist, none of them sustained injuries and they were all in good health with all their media gadgets returned.

‘’ The Journalists and the activist were in good condition alongside their media gadgets. None of them sustained injuries or torture. Only that one among the female journalists would have traveled abroad for certain activities but she missed due to the time exhausted ’’ Patrick echoed

However, Patrick urged the national, state, and local authorities to provide access to information to journalists as well as provide them with a free environment to do their work.

 He said that as the Country proceeds with elections through the implementation of the peace agreement, graduation of the forces, coming of the peace Security Council to Juba, the media was subjected to cover but due to the threats, the media would be distorted.

He finally appreciated the officers for having released them without beating and torturing them.

Meanwhile, the executive director for Community Empowerment for progress organization Edmund Yakani said that what happened was against the law of freedom of speech and access to information.

“I urge the parliament security agency to respect the journalists and allow them to excess information freely,” he added

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