By Matia Samuel Timatio
A Journalist was arrested by the security apparatus in Konyo-Konyo market after covering a peaceful protest by youth over the high cost of living on Sunday evening.
Diing Magot, a journalist working for the Voice of America (VOA) was arrested by the police on Sunday evening after covering a peaceful protest organized by some youth in Juba.
Over the weekend (Sunday) youth staged a peaceful protest on the street of Konyokonyo market against high cost of living in the country where they wrote messages such as “we can’t afford bread now”. We can’t manage water and sugar now as well as high transport fare and fuel prices in the country where two (2) of them were arrested by security personnel and others were dispersed by shooting into air.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Monday via phone interview, the president of the Union of Journalist in South Sudan Oyet Patrick Charles confirmed that the Journalist was arrested and detained at Malakia police station on claims that the journalist did not have an ID card at the time of covering the story.
“Our team went to the Central Equatoria state central police station and they were told the lady was found without an ID when she was working. Our team confirmed to them that yes she is our colleague and no case has been opened against her but she is just being detained, so we are asking for her to be released,” Oyet said.
“Nobody has come forward to solve the problem which is wrong because we should be free to do our job as journalists. This continuous cases of arrests, detentions, no cases brought forward and so on is really bad for us journalists, it’s also bad for the country because at the end of the day, you are spoiling the name of your country over something that can be resolved by talking,” he added.
He asserted that it is always not good to start by arresting somebody but rather the police should first do some preliminary investigation before arresting and not to start from wrong footing which sends bad message saying that the authorities need to stop such acts.
“If somebody’s work is not in line with the law, this is where you can let the law take its course. You don’t start by arresting! You even don’t know what news the person is going to write! Sometimes the person is even writing to help you who is arresting him or her, so I think it’s a wrong way of doing things, authorities should find a way of stopping it so that we do our work in clear environment because we have a lot of roles to play like people need to know about their rights and the election of 2024 which people need to know about,” Mr. Oyet stressed.
Oyet however said the police need to find a lawyer at the police station of Malakia where the journalist was detained if there is a case to answer and UJOSS will look for a lawyer to defend her but if he sees that there is no case, the journalist need to be released.
He mentioned that if there is a case against the journalist (UJOSS) are ready to mobilize resources to get a lawyer to defend her in the court of law.