Release VOA reporter transferred to central prison-UJOSS

By Matia Samuel Timatio

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) is demanding the release of a female Journalist and a reporter with VOA who was arrested on Sunday evening while covering peaceful protest in Juba’s Konyo-Konyo market staged by the youth over the high cost of living in the Country.

The Safety and Protection Officer at the Union of Journalists of South Sudan Johnson Juma Batal said the journalist, Diing Magot who was transferred to Juba central prison on Tuesday must be tried before the court of law or else be released on bail pending court proceedings.

He revealed that the female journalist has been transferred from Malakia police station to Juba Central Prison before she was convicted, which is not right.  

“One thing is that when somebody is detained, you are supposed to be in detention and legal procedures are taken for you to be transferred to the central prison but when you are transferred to the prison before legal procedures, before you being convicted by the Judge in the court of law, this is against the criminal procedure act of South Sudan,” Johnson condemned.

“They have to release that Journalist and if they cannot release that Journalist, let them allow that Journalist to be bailed out and legal procedure is to be taken because we have constitutional rights as Journalists to cover and access information and disseminate to the public, let them allow Journalists to do their work,” he continued.

According to Johnson, the police claimed that the detained journalist was got with the protesters without any ID card to identify herself and the police also questioned why she was the only journalist covering the protest at that particular time.

“It is just a kind of complication because since yesterday (Monday) we were trying all possible means to see that she is out but she was not bailed. The only way out is the law has to take its course because you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt and if you are innocent, you will be free,” the UJOSS’ safety officer explained.  

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