July 30, 2016 (JUBA) - South Sudanese authorities have released on bail an editor they detained for weeks after he wrote an article said to be critical of he country’s leaders.
- Alfred Taban (Time-UA Photo)
Alfred Taban, the Juba Monitor’s managing editor, had accused President Salva Kiir and his then deputy Riek Machar of failing to cooperate in the implementation of peace agreement, prompting his immediate arrest and detention.
Taban, however, said Saturday that he was granted bail to allow him to continue taking his medication as directed by his personal doctor.
This was after he was detained for a week without charge. He was charged under Article 75 and 76 of Penal Code 2008 for writing a false story and insulting the president.
Amnesty International, in a statement, said detaining Taban over his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression makes him a prisoner of conscience.
“We urge you to support our call for the immediate and unconditional release of Alfred Taban”, partly reads the organisation’s statement, also extended to Sudan Tribune.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) had also called for the immediate release of Taban.
The editor’s arrest came weeks after John Gatluak Manguet Nhial, a journalist who coordinated and reported for Radio Naath FM in Leer, was killed with complete impunity in Juba’s Terrain Hotel on 11 July, probably because he hails from the Nuer ethnic group.
South Sudan is ranked 140 out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index, thus falling 26 places since the start of the conflict in Africa’s newest nation.