South Sudan activists call for release of detained journalist

South Sudanese activists have condemned the detention of journalist Bosco Ijoo, who remains in government custody in Torit State after airing a story about sanctions on First Vice President Taban Deng Gai.

Ijoo, who works for Torit Radio 97.5 FM, was arrested by security agents on Friday evening after airing a story about the United States sanctions on the First Vice President for his role in serious human rights abuse.

In a statement extended to Radio Tamazuj yesterday, Edmund Yakani, executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) condemned the arrest of the journalist which, he said, came after the parties to the peace agreement reached a decision on freedom of the media.

He urged Torit State authorities to immediately release the detained journalist. “He has not violated any law or acted irresponsibly to deserve arrest.

Compliance with the decisions of our leaders is very important on matters of freedom of the media,” Yakani said.

He added: “The practice of restricting freedom of expression and the right to access accurate information is unacceptable with the spirit of implementing the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.”

The leading civil society activist urged South Sudan authorities to embrace freedom of the media.

The Center for Peace and Advocacy (CPA), a South Sudanese human rights entity, condemned the arrest of journalist Ijoo Bosco, calling for his immediate release.

The national coordinator for CPA, Ter Manyang Gatwech said journalists should be allowed to work freely without restrictions.

“We are petrified if the government does not allow journalists to do their work,” Gatwech said.

South Sudan ranks 139 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2019 global press freedom index.

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