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Family of Eastern Lakes’ journalist calls to his release

July 20, 2019 (RUMBEK) - The family of a South Sudanese journalist in Eastern Lakes denounced his arbitrary detention and called for his release or fair trial.

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SPLA soldiers, from the 2nd Battalion pose at the SPLA headquarters in Nyang, in the county of Yirol East, on February 15, 2014 (Photo AFP/Fabio Bucciarelli)

John Agok has been detained at a criminal detention facility centre in Eastern Lakes earlier this month.

Agok reportedly was arrested for his criticism against the governor on social media during the 9th July Independence Day.

According to his family, he was arrested by the National Security Service (NSS) following an order issued by Eastern Lakes Governor Mangar Bong.

"We as the family, we need Agok to be taken to court for trial or released if no charges instead of keeping him at criminal’s jail," said a family member pointing that he is at risk of torture in detention.

"We have been waiting to hear from the government how he said wrong about the governor though we had just hard that he criticized the governor," he added.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Lakes State Union of Journalists also echoed the family’s call and urged his immediate release describing Agok’s detention as "unlawful".

"We have an institution that deals with journalists issues and if one of our members has gone wrong, we should be informed to know before just arresting him, maybe we have a solution,” said the union in a statement released on Saturday.

The detention facility where imprisoned cattle thieves is known as ’Babur- Zed’ located northwest of Yirol town.

John Agok Awel work as station manager in a local Yirol community Radio established during the period of former Lakes state governor Chol Tong Mayai.