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S. Sudan security detain editor of independent newspaper

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December 10, 2013 (JUBA) - South Sudan security on Tuesday afternoon detained the editor of an independent newspaper before releasing him several hours later.

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Nhial Bol Aken, The Citizen’s editor in chief in Juba 12 December 2010 (ST)

"‘I have just been released. They arrested me at 2:00 pm and now the time is approaching 5:00pm", Nhial Bol, Chief Editor of the English Citizen newspaper told Sudan Tribune shortly after release at 4:53.

Bol attributed his arrest and detention to reports he had published about the arrest last week of two colleagues from The Citizen newspaper.

Rama Benjamin and Samir Bol, the editor said, were arrested from Equatoria Inn in Juba only to be released without any charge.

"The security said we have defamed them by reporting the arrest of Rama Benjamin and Samir Bol. They have asked one of their personnel called Pakak to open a case against us’’, Bol said.

"I don’t know which court they will take us to. My statement was taken by Juba North police station. This was after I was arrested in Jebel,’’ he said. Jebel, in Juba, is the national security headquarters.

Bol claimed security officials told him that his paper was filled with ‘‘disturbers.’’

He further claimed that one of his journalists, Wed Deng Albino, was last week arrested and tortured before being released without any charge.

"They [South Sudanese authorities] want to arrest people and expect them to keep quiet. They do not want people to report about their activities which are illegal,’’ Bol said before adding ‘‘they arrested one of our journalists, Wed Deng Albino, last week in the same Equatoria Inn. He was badly tortured.’’

Bol, a vocal journalist was one of the media practioners who last week opposed a directive by the information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, requiring journalists to register with the government.

Last week, the United States government special envoy for South Sudan and Sudan, Donald E. Booth, said the US was closely monitoring South Sudan’s media environment following recent threatsagainst the media.

‘‘We remain watchful of what is happening and support one of the fundamental issue which is [the] freedom of the press”, said Booth, appointed US special envoy in September this year.

Early this year a ranking by the press freedom advocacy group, Reporters Without Borders ranked South Sudan at position 124 out of 148 countries, a drop of 12 places from the previous ranking.

Article 24 of South Sudan Transitional Constitution, says “Every citizen shall have the right to the freedom of expression, reception and dissemination of information, publication, and access to the press without prejudice to public order, safety or morals as prescribed by law”.

Section II of same article says, "All levels of government shall guarantee the freedom of the press and other media as shall be regulated by law in a democratic society”

ACTIVIST CONCERNED

National security threats on the media, a civil society activist said, was "disturbing" and clearly contravenes Article 24(1)(2) of South Sudan Transitional Constitution.

"These violations of freedom of expression and media late this year demonstrates that south Sudan is on the road to regime governance system", said Edmund Yakani.

"The national specialised committee on information and telecommunication in the national assembly should react on the recent move by security agencies towards media houses", added Yakani, also the executive director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO); a local entity.

(ST)

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  • 11 December 2013 05:16, by omoni jr.

    This is actually copy and paste rules from khartoum ,and SPLM is lying to the world that they were fighting for over 21 years because of Arabs oppression and restriction of all freedoms in sudan. That’s a big lie. Mr. Bol be careful brother,you need to learn the lesson from Isaiah Abraham and others who are always being tortured by SPLM thugs regime.

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    • 11 December 2013 05:30, by dinkdong

      "SPLM is lying to the world that they were fighting for over 21 years because of Arabs oppression and restriction of all freedoms." Well observation Omoni Jr!

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    • 11 December 2013 05:48, by Mapuor

      Omoni Jr
      No arrests have ever taken place.You just want to defame SPLM.We Know you Khartoumers,in fact all returnees have hidden agenda.They were tax payers to SAF during the war,their monetary contribution to SAF enabled SAF to gain momentum over the SPLA in 1991 to 2003 thus inflicting a terrible harm to freedom fighters.They shamelessly claim that they also struggled,strungoth,lunatics.

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      • 11 December 2013 05:53, by Mapuor

        Dear Khartoumers,your peers suffered in the bush for 21 years fighting for freedom and you were enjoying(Fatah)in Khartoum with Moyo ful.Now you are welcomed to the South employed,grew bellies that you never had in Khartoum despite eating fatah.Is defaming the SPLM day by day the only reward that you can offer to your brothers who liberated you.Now you no longer wash jallaba cloths and dishe

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        • 11 December 2013 06:30, by Toney Toney Matot

          Dear Mapour,
          you got it right brother,the freedom we fought for does not mean we who brought it be humiliated by Arabs dish washers.they are not ashamed of themselves especially this lunatic gay called Nhial Bol.these people does not know what dictatorship is.let them ask Eritrean why the citizens are running away from their country.

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      • 11 December 2013 07:14, by omoni jr.

        Mapuor,
        I know you man, you are SPLM-die-hard defend liar,and you always see those who are opposing SPLM thier harsh, ruthless,and unconstitutions rules against thier own citizens,and you labled as NYAGATS OR Khartoum agencies,brother,lets not fools ourselves, If i tell about my background about the beginning of southern movement from 1955 upto 2005,i know you can feel me from your heart boy.

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    • 11 December 2013 07:26, by omoni jr.

      Mr. Mapuor,
      you and SPLM are become NOTORIOUS liars in this new nation,and especially you, you always act like Salva KIIR spoke-man or woman. I have only two description of SPLM thugs liars. they are inveterate,congenital,incorrigible,chronic,pathological ,and egregious liars. And ironically ,you defend and protct them as if you are the only one who formed this party or movement by then.

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  • 11 December 2013 05:56, by dude

    Guys, take it easy. There are no winners here. The only winners here are the people who are determined to fight for the freedom of expression. This does not mean that Salva kiir and his Gogrial thugs are the South Africans of Mandela. Things are only getting worst in South Sudan. The country will be like a dead cow in the jungle soon. Be quiet and watch the outcome, a bad thing is about to happen.

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  • 11 December 2013 06:35, by Tutbol

    I think Nhial Bol is increasingly making himself-a-journalist-con-artist! All S Sudanese love freedom of speech & expression; since we were at war with N Sudan. A lot of media houses who may be now funding Nhial Bol’s tabloid-like journalism were the one who made our peoples be heard by their peoples’ with conscious in their countries. But our people shouldn’t be played like fools peoples who...

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    • 11 December 2013 06:55, by Tutbol

      ...think we are also fools like them to be played.

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      • 11 December 2013 08:03, by Adodi Jotuwa

        Does freedom of expression mean tell the public how you chew food, what has happened in the bedroom because a couple is blessed with baby that the whole world is proud of or how and why the world is controlled by the powerful corporations and media outlet?

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        • 11 December 2013 08:04, by Adodi Jotuwa

          Even in the West, why media report only about someone’s wealth but not how it’s strategically planned? Can media have access to its blue print and expose the fundamental flaws or because it’s none of media business?

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          • 11 December 2013 08:05, by Adodi Jotuwa

            If the two years old South Sudan is to adopt the imported freedom of expression or democracy of the West as opposed to homegrown by Dr. Defector, how will it fit educationally, technologically, culturally, economically and politically into our current climate? Will the two years old democracy of South Sudan differ with the one of nearly 300 years old of USA and Europe? If yes or no, why?

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