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UN Radio Journalist released George Livio spent almost three years in detention

UN Radio journalist, George Livio was released on Friday without any charges against him after spending almost three years in detention without trial.

The security service has released the journalist after the Chairperson of the Association for Media Development in South Sudan (AMDISS), Alfred Taban refused to be sworn in after being appointed by President Salva Kiir as member of the Secretariat of the National Dialogue Steering committee.

Taban told journalists on Friday during a workshop that, he will take part in the national dialogue to bring peace in the country only when the authorities accept his “demand for the release of journalist George Livio.”

“Government and the media are doing equal work for the country and I don’t see any reason why the government arrests journalists without consulting with the media authorities,” Taban said.

He said misunderstanding between the security personnel and journalists should be discouraged saying it is not right to detain someone without charges preferred against him or her.

“The reason why George Livio was detained is unknown and that is why I refused last time when the President appointed me to be a member of the national dialogue.  I declined to be sworn in because this act shows that there is no freedom of expression in the country,” Taban said.

He said the Media is playing a big role in bringing peace and development in the country but it seems the government has taken media as the enemy which is not correct.

He said George Livio, who worked for Radio Miraya, was arrested in the northwestern town of Wau in August 2014, nine months after a civil war erupted in the country.

The government on Friday freed George Livio after spending almost three years in jail without trial.

By Asunta Alith

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