DCMF received with regret the news of the arrest of these two journalists, without any charge. Dengdit Ayok is a journalist for the newspaper ‘Destiny’ and Ngor Arol Garang is its Editor in Chief and journalist for the online newspaper The Sudan Tribune. The arrest came over an article criticizing the country’s president. Both men have been detained without charge and face the risk of torture and ill-treatment.
Jan Keulen, director of DCMF, states that “it is illegal in South Sudan to detain someone for more than 24 hours without permission of the court. According to the Transitional Constitution, suspects must be released on bail after 24 hours, unless a court decides they should be remanded in prison. Authorities must respect the law”.
DCMF’s Emergency Assistance team is in close contact with the lawyer of the two journalists and tries to find ways to support their families.
The arrest of these journalists is a clear violation of article number 24 sub section 1 enclosed in the South Sudan Transitional Constitution Bill of Rights on the freedom of expression and media. Journalists must be able to exercise their democratic rights freely, by providing people with independent information. Police authorities are not allowed to prevent them from performing their duties.
DCMF urges President Selva Keir to release these two journalists as soon as possible. Keulen added: “We condemn in the strongest terms possible this act. There is no valid reason for their continued detention”.
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