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Calls for deputy interior minister to resign over detention of Juba journalists

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May 12, 2013 (JUBA) - The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) has called for South Sudan’s deputy minister of interior to step down over the detention of two Juba Monitor newspaper journalists who were recently detained by police.

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Salva Mathok Gengdit, South Sudan’s Deputy Interior Minister (Credit: The Citizen News Paper)

Managing editor Michael Koma was detained on 2 May and released three days later, while editor-in-chief Alfred Taban was taken into police custody on 6 May, where he was interrogated for eight hours.

Investigations by SSHURSA found that the journalists were detained under the orders of deputy interior minister Lt. General Salva Mathok Gengdit, who complained of being defamed by the newspaper and Unity’s state’s Bul community.

In a letter signed by their leaders and published in the Juba Monitor, members of the Bul community dismissed denials made by the minister over allegations related to the murder of Banyjioth Mathoat Tap from the Bul community, whose body was found under Mathok’s house on 30 March.

The letter was the second published by the newspaper containing allegations the minister was involved in the young man’s death. Mathok has strongly denied the claims.

SSHURSA says Mathok ordered police to summon the journalists and investigate Juba Monitor’s senior management following the publication of the second letter, claiming his reputation had been tarnished by the newspaper and the Bul community.

SSHURSA says the actions of the police constitute a clear case of intimidation against the press and abuse of power by persons in a position of authority.

“This is a direct abuse of the rights to freedom of expression and media under Article 24 of the transitional constitution of South Sudan 2011. This constitutional provision allows every citizen to express, receive, disseminate or publish information within the limits of the law”, the human rights organisation said in a statement last Friday.

The annual press freedom index published by Reporters Without Borders (RWB) earlier this year puts South Sudan at 124th out of the 180 countries ranked, with the international media watchdog linking the country’s low placing to the general heavy-handedness of government and security services.

SSHURSA said the detention of the journalists clearly violated a number of international and regional conventions signed by South Sudan on the protection of human rights and freedom of expression.

“The detention of the two journalists under unending interrogations in the truest sense of the meaning, amounts to inhuman and degrading treatment”, SSHURSA said in the statement.

“The police personnel, by detaining Michael Koma and Alfred Taban for three days and eight hours and keeping them in such situation of uncertainty respectively in the orders of the deputy minister of interior, have attacked the provisions of the constitution and the laws of South Sudan for which their sole constitutional establishment is meant to respect and protect”, it added.

SSHURSA have reiterated calls for South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir to step in and suspend Mathok from his ministerial duties with immediate effect, pending a full investigation into the murder.

“SSHURSA calls again upon the office of the prosecutor-general to courageously and independently go on with the investigations of the case, disallowing the ministry of interior to take any part and this shall [thus] remove [any] conflict of interest within the ministry of interior attempting to investigate itself”, the statement said.

SSHURSA is also seeking the withdrawal of defamation charges against the Juba Monitor and the Bul community.

In comments made after the discovery of Tap’s body, Charles Machieng, the ex-commissioner of Unity state’s Mayom county, said the boy had gone to a nearby shop on the 28 March but never returned home. His body was found two days later dumped behind Mathok’s house, with traces of blood also leading to the scene.

The 25-year-old former traffic officer had been well-regarded in the Mayom community, with his murder described as “barbaric” and “an act of tribalism”.

(ST)

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  • 13 May 2013 08:09, by Dinkawarrior

    Those of Mothok and his cousin Acuil-mothok are the causes of destruction in Cowboy’s Administration. He also needs to be retired or to arrested.

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    • 13 May 2013 08:22, by Monydit

      @DinkaWarrior you are using the wrong name ,pleas you use your really name forget about telling us that dinka warrior ,and you are alway against Dinka pleas can you meet salva Mathok in his office and tell him whatever you feel bez you are south sudan its your right to meet him ,ur message on this web will not reach mathok pls ?

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      • 13 May 2013 09:17, by biotech

        @monydit, if this guy can even kill his own police officer and arrest journalist at will, do you expect him to listen to an ordinary citizen? He is wrong and he should resign that is all. Or shall I advise the Bul community to just waste him as the form of justice south Sudan style? This has nothing to do with Dinka but an individual or may be you are his accomplice.

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        • 13 May 2013 11:47, by Monydit

          pls @Biotech dont tell me about Bul nuer who when to our Area ysday to take our Cows and they Run to Nuer Bul community please stop mention this very bad name of Bul Nuer ,am really sick that ,n Riek machar say he went to be president while his pple are killing our pple who have no Guns in their hand shamme to riek mach ,you will deid without getting this position of president Riek Machar and yo

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          • 13 May 2013 12:57, by biotech

            @ monydit, are you telling me the that the deputy interior minister has some connection with cattle rustlers? And that the murder of that Bul Nuer man has it roots back to cattle rustling interstates? Or you are just supporting salva mathok because you have hatred toward Bul Nuer and Riek machar? I wonder when will some of you be nationalist and speak up against injustice in south Sudan?

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            • 13 May 2013 13:37, by Monydit

              I Repeated myself to you I never depend mathok ,but I tell you that never mentioned to me again about Bul Nuer Community which went to my Village ysday in Palang and Kill the woman n Children who are not connected with the Cattle Rustling so pls stop that telling me about Bul Nuer pple who kill my pple ysday in Palang Village in Twic Mayardit Area am really sorry bez iwas not there ,if could happe

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              • 13 May 2013 13:46, by Monydit

                iwshe I Could be there so they can see hw they warrior figher themselves not to fight kill the childern who are Vulnerable groups ,pls if you are incontact with your Riek Machar advise him to talk to his pple of Bul Nuer ppls that thing will not Riek machar to get president seat my dear ,.let me came to Bentiu and talk to his bul nuer ppls not to attack our pple again in twic mayardit ?

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              • 13 May 2013 13:48, by Monydit

                iwshe I Could be there so they can see hw they warrior figher themselves not to fight kill the childern who are Vulnerable groups ,pls if you are incontact with your Riek Machar advise him to talk to his pple of Bul Nuer ppls that thing will not Riek machar to get president seat my dear ,.let me came to Bentiu and talk to his bul nuer ppls not to attack our pple again in twic mayardit ?

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              • 13 May 2013 13:52, by Monydit

                iwshe I Could be there so they can see hw they warrior figher themselves not to fight kill the childern who are Vulnerable groups ,pls if you are incontact with your Riek Machar advise him to talk to his pple of Bul Nuer ppls that thing will not Riek machar to get president seat my dear ,.let me came to Bentiu and talk to his bul nuer ppls not to attack our pple again in twic mayardit ?

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          • 13 May 2013 14:56, by bianaathling

            Hey Monychiath,
            Go back to school all of your sentences are sick and to remind u here primary one students are not needed to write on this forum.Whether u like it not you will just pronounce His Excellency the President Riak Machar in 2015.We know Two Salvas of yours are confusing and they are abusing their powers.

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            • 13 May 2013 15:41, by Monydit

              sorry @Bianaathling the Good Nuer is the dead Nuer in the world is the Good Nuer ,am sorry president Salva Kiir mayardit is the president since 2005 upto 2020 which Cde James Wani Igga will lead south Sudan Again as president so you n your Father Riek Machar of 1991 Nissiar Faction of SPLA United which Died when we kill them in ikotos that why he went direct to khartuom and then we wellcome him ba

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              • 14 May 2013 06:37, by Badi Malawi

                Please dear bul cmuty hw many southsudanese killed by unknown gunmen in juba ? What is the evidence that show ur son was murder by salva mathok? These allegations are fault

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    • 13 May 2013 09:12, by Paul

      IS there still any doubt as to who might have been behind Isaiah Abraham execution....Lucky SOB!

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      • 13 May 2013 10:12, by Runrach

        @ Paul, the entire citizens of SS should know very well that the assassination of the late political commentator Isaiah Abraham wasn’t from national security hand but from Deputy interior minister and his Awan Chan Nyal private security.
        Having said that Killing of Unity state young man from Bul Nuer of Mayom county is a substantial evidence of which Kiir and Warrap kitchen cabinet are enlisted.

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    • 13 May 2013 09:25, by Kedo

      Don’t waste your time talking politics. See how a Sudanese poor woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling accidented cars, Very interesting idea. Go to (ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM) to see the various methods and companies she was using(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM). A simple idea but who knew it before? WAKE UP AFRICANS. Don’t waste your time talking politics.(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM)

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    • 13 May 2013 09:39, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      Why to refuse the truth,ours leaders are very funy,some one found death near by compound we next,being duty minister of interior can save when you are found quilty.
      OKUCU PA LOTINOKWAN

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    • 13 May 2013 10:27, by Runrach

      It should be well clear that the detention of the two Juba monitor managing editor and his chief editor was an assassination to freedom of expression as well as cover up of many insecurity and abuse of powers committed by Kuethpiny govt. Mathok has to properly investigated.

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    • 13 May 2013 18:40, by dengdanger

      U KNOW MR DINKAWARRIOR U ARE VERY FUNNY CHARCTER U CALL UR SELF A DINKAWARRIOR AND YET U NEVER FOUGHT A WAR WHAT WAR DID U FOUGHT ??????? OH OK U MEAN GRABBING ACHOLE LAND IS FIGHTING A WAR LOL GET OVER UR SELF U THE MOST PATHIC DINKA I KNOW. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IF U LOOKING FOR DINKAWARRIOR HE IS IN NIMULE WHERE HE SELLING AIRTIME N GRABBING ACHOLE LAND N RUNNING HIS MOUTH THAT HE IS A WARRIOR

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    • 13 May 2013 18:41, by dengdanger

      U KNOW MR DINKAWARRIOR U ARE VERY FUNNY CHARCTER U CALL UR SELF A DINKAWARRIOR AND YET U NEVER FOUGHT A WAR WHAT WAR DID U FOUGHT ??????? OH OK U MEAN GRABBING ACHOLE LAND IS FIGHTING A WAR LOL GET OVER UR SELF U THE MOST PATHIC DINKA I KNOW. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN IF U LOOKING FOR DINKAWARRIOR HE IS IN NIMULE WHERE HE SELLING AIRTIME N GRABBING ACHOLE LAND N RUNNING HIS MOUTH THAT HE IS A WARRIOR

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    • 13 May 2013 20:24, by julia

      Banyjioth mathot tap is dead dog. Why should the ssuha denounce the hero patriotic, nationalist salva mathok image. They themselves Nuer food lovers killed him and dump the body near the hero compound with the trances of blood following into the complex, it is a plan tarnishing and defamation of mathok political career in s.sudan.

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      • 14 May 2013 03:07, by biotech

        Julia. Where is your conscience? Insulting the late will not help your tribalist egocentric support for the d/interior minister. You have just prove to be a low life Faithless moron who is brought to the world by mistake. Get a life and respect the dead.

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        • 14 May 2013 04:19, by julia

          biotech. if u people can study and judge the case properly u won,t fine a prove for mathok being Guilty for murdering that food lover Banyjiok mathaot Tap. it was planed defamation to ward hero mathok Gengdit. Nuer killed him just only to tarnish the image of D/minister. and u Juma u re a fool ve nothing to say rather running ur pugs against patriotic comment of mine mr.Julia

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  • 13 May 2013 08:15, by Tata

    If it is true that the Hon. Dept. Minister ordered the arest of the journalists, this will be quite unfortunate, which constitutes violation of basic H. right. Many people will believe that the Dept .Minister for Interior is not conversant with police administration of criminal affairs and therefore should go home or return to Bilpam to be deployed to Pibor to run after YauYau gangs.

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    • 13 May 2013 08:25, by Tata

      If a dead body is found somewhere, everybody within the surrounding area will be arrested and introgated accordingly, in order to extract primary information that may lead to identification and arrest of the criminal. The dead body was found adjacent to the Dep. Minister’s house, therefore, the Dep .Minister should answer questions regarding to circumstances surrounding the murder case.

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      • 13 May 2013 08:37, by Tata

        Then, WHY IS THE HON. D/MINISTER SO WORRIED? WHAT IS THE FEAR? OR WHAT CONSTITUTES THE FEAR OF THE HON. D/MINISTER? According to English law, inherited by many AFRICAN countries, THE HON. D/MINISTER IS HELD GUILTY (for the death of that person) UNTIL PROVED INNOCENT. The Hon. D/Minister needs to compily and therefore stop harrassing innocent journalists, who neither investigate nor try.

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        • 13 May 2013 08:46, by Tata

          If the Hon. D/Minister feels that his character has been assassinated by the paper for no reason, the civic way of addressing such issue for the Hon. D/Minister is to sue the paper to competent court of law, in order to regain his reputation; or otherwise he is making matters more worse than ever. A physician doesn’t treat hisherself alone. He/she has to seek medical servcie from his/hr colleugeas

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          • 13 May 2013 08:56, by Tata

            Last but not the least, IT IS LEGALLY ADVISABLE FOR THE PAPER (on behalf of the staffs arrested) TO SUE THE HON. D/MINISTER TO COURT OF LAW FOR TORTUIRNG, INTIMIDATING, HARRASSING, HUMILIATING AND BOTH PHYSICALLY & MORALLY TERORISING IT FOR THE GOOD JOB IT DOES IN THIS COUNTRY. Let the Hon. D/Minister knows that we are not in BUSH but in town. We are not rebels, but professionals.

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    • 13 May 2013 09:26, by Kedo

      Don’t waste your time talking politics. See how a Sudanese poor woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling accidented cars, Very interesting idea. Go to (ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM) to see the various methods and companies she was using(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM). A simple idea but who knew it before? WAKE UP AFRICANS. Don’t waste your time talking politics.(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM)

      repondre message

    • 13 May 2013 09:27, by Kedo

      Don’t waste your time talking politics. See how a Sudanese poor woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling accidented cars, Very interesting idea. Go to (ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM) to see the various methods and companies she was using(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM). A simple idea but who knew it before? WAKE UP AFRICANS. Don’t waste your time talking politics.(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM)

      repondre message

  • 13 May 2013 08:16, by Lat Dak Nyaroah

    Until the media Bill is passed into law, the journalists should take caution on their personal security, otherwise, such incidences will never stop.

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  • 13 May 2013 09:27, by Kedo

    Don’t waste your time talking politics. See how a Sudanese poor woman became a millionaire just by buying and selling accidented cars, Very interesting idea. Go to (ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM) to see the various methods and companies she was using(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM). A simple idea but who knew it before? WAKE UP AFRICANS. Don’t waste your time talking politics.(ACCIDENTEDCARS.COM)

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  • 13 May 2013 11:21, by Son of Ngundeng

    Dear all,
    Mathok will die after 10 days
    thank

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    • 13 May 2013 18:19, by dengdanger

      TO THIS SON OF A BITCH SO CAL SON OF NGOUBITCH YOU AND UR PATHIC HOE MOM AND UR TRADEDER FATHER WILL DIE IN 10 DAYS U NUER PPL KEEP BEATING WAR DRUM BUT U ARE FUCKING WITH THE WRONG DINKAS THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE LIKE THE WAR OF 1991 AND FOR THIS BITCH CAL HIMSELF DINKAWARRIOR WERE DID U FIGHT DURING THE WAR TIME FOR ALL WE KNOW U RUN TO NIMULE BY UGANDA BORDER WERE U AND UR FAMILY KEEPING RUNING

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    • 13 May 2013 18:19, by dengdanger

      TO THIS SON OF A BITCH SO CAL SON OF NGOUBITCH YOU AND UR PATHIC HOE MOM AND UR TRADEDER FATHER WILL DIE IN 10 DAYS U NUER PPL KEEP BEATING WAR DRUM BUT U ARE FUCKING WITH THE WRONG DINKAS THIS IS NOT GOING TO BE LIKE THE WAR OF 1991 AND FOR THIS BITCH CAL HIMSELF DINKAWARRIOR WERE DID U FIGHT DURING THE WAR TIME FOR ALL WE KNOW U RUN TO NIMULE BY UGANDA BORDER WERE U AND UR FAMILY KEEPING RUNING

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    • 13 May 2013 18:31, by dengdanger

      This attack on Mathok is an declaration of war on Bar Gazal and and Dinkas period. This is an attempt to weaken someone Salva Kirr by attacking Salva Mathok. It’s a politcal calculation by a desperate group that’s willing to use any means to achive an end (which is the presidency). It’s so sad that they took a life just to defame Mathok... WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!!

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  • 13 May 2013 13:01, by Jubawe

    we knewn deputy interior M silvar is the serious killer in Juba and i mention that before about him no wonder silvar group still robbery people and no one try to stop him. Mr Kiir we confirm you real fail and not Qualify to be leader of south sudan, thus why Equatorian are distance them from this fail government when our come we’ll dismiss all uneducate ministers from position and stop corruption

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  • 13 May 2013 22:40, by JUMA

    Somes r insulting tribes while the case is out of tribalism. This is for u idiots Nuer and Dinkas guys who are insulting tribes, and in midst of them that dicks sucker, Julia. The allegations sorted by SSHURSA are all in their places, I personal have confidence that Mr. MATHOK is behind many things and who can charge him? No one except President. U those who are defending Mathok u are standing with him for nothing for I don’t know if u are all standing with him for his tribe or brotherhood but I don’t know exactly what’s in ur mind is it heartless or primitivity?

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