March 6, 2023 (JUBA) – The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) has called for the “unconditional” release of state media journalists “illegally” detained at the national security headquarters.
Until now, no charges have been preferred against Victor Ladu, Mustapha Osman and Jacob Benjamin since they were detained two months ago.
“Their continuous detention is a violation of Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011, as amended, Article 19 (4) which dictates that a person arrested may be held in detention for a period not exceeding 24 hours,” UJOSS head, Patrick Oyet said.
“It’s also a violation of all procedural laws of South Sudan,” he added.
On January 3, security service agents detained six journalists with the state-run South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) for allegedly leaking a video clip circulated on social media in December, which appeared to show President Salva Kiir in an embarrassing situation.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) earlier issued a statement urging South Sudanese authorities to “immediately” and “unconditionally” release all the journalists detained this week and ensure the press can work freely.
By law, however, South Sudanese authorities are allowed to detain suspects for only 24 hours before bringing them before a competent court of law.