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Human rights group condemn treatment of Sudan Tribune journalist

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April 1, 2012 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese human rights organisation has condemned the recent treatment of Sudan Tribune journalist Ngor Garang by South Sudan’s National Security Services (SSNSS).

Security officials have since apologised for the incident at the National Liberation Council of South Sudan’s ruling party on Friday.

Garang was removed from the hall to be questioned and had his identification documents and equipment confiscated.

South Sudan’s Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) said Monday that they condemned Garang’s treatment in the "strongest terms possible".

"This is very unacceptable and it is not su[r]prising because it [is] the continuation of the inhumane treatment they offered you last year" Biel Boutros Biel, the Executive Director, SSHURSA said in an email to Ngor on Monday.

In November 2011 Garang was held illegally and tortured for over two weeks, after The Destiny, a newspaper he works for in Juba, published an article criticising South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir.

Garang’s expulsion at the meeting of the SPLM’s second highest decision making body occurred as Kiir entered to hall to deliver a speech.

Biel said that throwing Ngor out of the meeting and confiscating his possessions was in violation of Articles 24 and 25 in South Sudan’s constitution that provide for press freedom and association.

"Such an act is old practice of the old Sudan" he said, referring to South Sudan’s experience of being governed by Khartoum before the country split in two last year.

Press freedom group the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) published a report last year that questioned whether South Sudan’s ruling SPLM was living up to in government the freedoms that it fought for during over two decades of conflict.

"Our fellow citizens at the state house don’t respect these provisions", Biel said.

"We will not give up and will continue peacefully advocating for just, democratic and human rights abiding nation. These are the very values for which South Sudan fought for and we can’t turn around to condone them."

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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