Home | News    Monday 7 November 2011

South Sudanese journalist released, two remain in detention




By Toby Collins

November 7, 2011 (LONDON) – The South Sudan journalist detained since 21 October and released on 2 November has described his ordeal, while two other journalists remain in custody.

James Okuk was accused during his detention of writing inflammatory articles in association with the opposition party, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – Democratic Change (SPLM-DC).

Okuk, who also works at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, cites the country’s interim constitution which states ’no civil servant shall be favored or victimized because of his or her political opinion.’

The leader of the opposition, Onyoti Adigo, told the Daily Destiny newspaper that three officials, including James Okuk, allied with the SPLM-DC were arrested at gunpoint.

In an article published by the South Sudan News Agency Okuk wrote ’South Sudan Paradox: Joyful Independence, Sorry Leadership,’ which was published by news agencies including Sudan Tribune, was one of the causes of his detention.

Okuk described a detention in which he was denied basic human rights. “Neither food nor water was provided by those who arrested me. I slept on a bare dirty ground without a cover. Rain beat me inside the cell at one of nights so badly. Going to outside toilet (though it was very dirty) at night was not allowed. The prisoner has to release himself inside the cell.”

Okuk says that under the terms of his bail he has to remain in Juba, the South Sudan capital.

An article documenting Okuk’s arrest was written by the Sudan Tribune journalist, Ngor Garang, who has been detained by South Sudanese security service since Wednesday for publishing an article criticising Salva Kiir in the Daily Destiny newspaper, the President of South Sudan.

Ngor’s colleague at the newspaper, Gengdit Ayok, who is also the Destiny’s is also believed to be in custody. It was Ayok’s opinion article, saying that Kiir should not have allowed his daughter to marry someone from outside South Sudan, that is believe to have caused their arrest.




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  • 7 November 2011 06:33, by Madina Tonj

    The case between James Okuk and two others journalist that still in detention are absolutely different case. First of all James Okuk was the right person to get arrest because he post always bad articles since he was in Kenya. The two others journalist were not supposed to be arrest for expressing their view simply because they are citizens and they have rights as president sold out nation image

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    • 7 November 2011 06:58, by omoni jr.

      Madina Tonj,
      you very tribalist man.
      Dr James OKUK is an extraordinary man in south sudan,and he deserve respect ,okay?
      Do not address him as james OKUK,say Dr OKUK.

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      • 7 November 2011 07:35, by Madina Tonj

        Omin Jr, are you telling me about PhD of Dr. Lam Akol Ajawin.? Please this is absolutely a wrong concept my friend, people like him and Dr. Lam Akol wouldn’t lead Southern Sudanese people. You have to have a good character, youback-ground history, sincerness, personality and also you must acknowledge yourself before you would seek to lead others. There were few PhD had successful but not him

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        • 7 November 2011 08:32, by omoni jr.

          please,do not be jealous ,just go to school and a Dr like James OKUK

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    • 7 November 2011 21:18, by sanduksanduk

      As a civil servant with the govt. of South Sudan, Okuk can do himself much favour if he writes with pseudo names. No where is it allowed for civil servants to publicly criticise a dept. or government that they serve. The reason is simple: They (civil servants) have access or can access government documents some of which are open to "only eyes".

      Okuk, you can resign and be free to write on all.

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  • 7 November 2011 06:49, by Madina Tonj

    The arresting of two journalist was not only the sign of misusing power, but it was the beginning of dictatorship system within Gogrialism itself. The Warrap governor Nydeng Malek did same thing by arresting the MP accusing him that, he leak out 558 people dying in Warrap State because of Food shortage, diseaes and rain while the governor was buys for her corruption which had built in their hearts

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  • 7 November 2011 06:53, by Sundayw

    Sudan Tribune is on a crusade against the government of South Sudan, accusing it of arresting journalists while Khartoum is busy arresting and murdering journalists in Blue Nile and South Kordofan and Darfur. What is ST doing about that? There are far more serious incidents taking place in border regions and ST is mum on those. What is this news organization becoming? Has it been infiltrated by NC

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    • 7 November 2011 15:41, by Ker.

      Dear south sudanese, this is clear " from fryingpan to fire" meaning from Bashir’s dictatorship to Kiir’s. what a hell! arresting poor journalist is clear violation of human right. Kiir should have not done that afterall is it his daughter who has disgraced not only Barh el Ghazal but the whole south sudan. what a damn!

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  • 7 November 2011 07:22, by BM Bol

    Since when did James Okuk becomes Journalist? As far as I am concern (and many people here will attest to this), James only writes about his views & opinions. I hope you get this right make any necessary corrections.

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  • 23 April 2013 19:25, by dennishobson

    UnfMYSBVv2Zz0GXe2yeAwMASRJXr8Sssanyong madeira plastica composite decking There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it

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